In terms of distance, this was not quite as far as Geneva, where the Ferrari F8 Tributo was first seen in the flesh during the city’s eponymous annual motor show in March. But no thanks to the Easter long-weekend traffic mayhem, the nine-hour drive to Kuala Lumpur for the regional debut of the 488 GTB replacement, undertaken by 30 local Ferrari owners alongside one press car, took almost as long as a flight to the Swiss city. Nobody seemed to mind, though. After all, the black-tie gourmet gala dinner, luxury hotel stay, visit to admire the Sultan of Selangor’s car collection and a Sepang track night that formed the programme for the pilgrimage – part of the joint 10th anniversary celebration of the Malaysian, Singaporean and Thai Ferrari distributorships – made the effort well worth it.
Back to the new car. It is a two-seater, mid-rear engine berlinetta (Italian for sports coupe) that features Ferrari’s award-winning V8 motor, but now with 720hp, 50hp more than the one found in its predecessor. This is the most brawny V8-powered vehicle Ferrari has ever produced.
A slew of weight-saving measures (down 40kg) and aerodynamic tweaks (15 per cent more downforce) helps bolster performance figures even further: the F8 Tributo would reach 100kmh and 200kmh in 2.9 seconds and 7.8 seconds respectively. Top speed is 340kmh. All that grunt promises to be very usable, due to further developments of Ferrari’s stability control system, now in version 6.1. Passers-by can admire the source of the car’s stupendous power through a rear screen made of Lexan, a transparent polycarbonate material used for cockpit canopies and bulletproof screens. This design element was last seen in the iconic F40 from the late 1980s.
The F8 Tributo is expected to be unveiled here during this September’s Singapore Grand Prix, with deliveries scheduled for early next year.