Ferrari astutely unveiled its new F8 Tributo last week, getting ahead of the flurry Geneva launches by doing so. Now, though, it's used the Swiss event to disseminate more details of the forthcoming 488 replacement. The most significant of these relate to the engine and dynamic enhancements, and there's quite a lot to get through, so let's get stuck in.
We already know that the F8 Tributo will use a Pista-derived engine to match that car's outputs of 720hp at 8,000rpm and 568lb ft of torque, but Ferrari has today revealed just how it accomplished this whilst making the V8 freer-revving and also meeting stricter emissions targets.
Compared to the 488 GTB, the car which the F8 will directly replace, that Pista engine already boasts 50 per cent new components, items which, for starters, are joined in the Tributo by Inconel exhaust manifolds and intake lines from the 488 Challenge racer.
To deal with a 10 per cent increase in combustion chamber pressure there are uprated valves and springs, a new cam profile, strengthened pistons and cylinder heads and friction-reducing DLC-coated piston pins, apparently derived directly from F1. Combined with titanium con-rods and a lighter, optimised crankshaft and flywheel, all of these components not only help to improve engine performance, but also result in a 17 per cent reduction in inertia and an 18kg weight saving.
The air intakes have been moved from the car's flanks to its rear, where they are directly connected to the intake plenums. Sitting on either side of the blown spoiler, their new layout is said to reduce losses, increase dynamic pressure and ensure greater air flow to the engine, thereby increasing power.
Amongst the various engine management technologies applied to the F8, the most intriguing is the rev limiter's "Wall Effect". This replaces the gradual limiting of revs as the red line is approached, instead stepping in only when it's hit the 8,000rpm mark, in order to maximise available power during "dynamic driving situations".
Dynamically, a broad range of changes should improve the driving experience across the board. From an overall weight reduction of 40kg to a smaller diameter of steering wheel, every tweak Ferrari has made has been with the intention of improving the Tributo's level of driver-focus. It should remain accessible to drivers of all abilities, however, thanks to the likes of Ferrari's Dynamic Enhancer tech - which helps make the car six per cent faster out of corners - and the latest version of the Side Slip Angle Control - which requires a 30 per cent reduction in wheel activity during oversteer, making drivers "more confident in lengthy oversteer manoeuvres."
Finally, a 10 per cent improvement in aerodynamic efficiency comes thanks to modifications made to the S-Duct (15%), rear spoiler (25%), front underbody (15%), vortex generators (25%) and rear diffuser (the remaining 20%). When combined with everything else, these tweaks make the F8 Tributo half a second quicker around Fiorano than a 488, and ought to have a tangible effect during real world driving, too. There's clearly plenty more to discover about Ferrari's latest and greatest mid-engined V8, we can't wait to get behind that slightly smaller wheel.
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