Ferrari's F8 Tributo is a relatively accessible car despite having 720hp and 770Nm going to its rear wheels.
Ferrari F8 Tributo: Fitting tribute The Ferrari F8 Tributo is some 40kg lighter than the 488 GTB, and this helps it get to 100kmh in 2.9 seconds. By 7.8 seconds, it passes 200kmh.PHOTO: FERRARI

The Ferrari F8 Tributo is the successor to the 2015 Ferrari 488 GTB. Tributo means tribute in Italian and is in reference to the marque's multi-award-winning turbocharged V8.

Ferrari has used turbocharging twice before this - once to power the 1987 F40 and on its little-known 1980 208 GTB, a tax-friendly model meant for the Italian domestic market.

It returned to turbocharging in 2015 with a 670hp 488 GTB. This evolved into a 720hp unit for the 488 Pista.

In the F8 Tributo, the engine is designed to meet the stringent Euro 6d emission standards.

Because of a power-sapping particulate filter in the exhaust system, the engine has to be boosted to offer the same power output of 720hp. External noise is also attenuated so Ferrari has devised a set of pipes to transmit high frequency exhaust notes from just before the catalytic converters into the cabin.

Thanks to design maestro Flavio Manzoni, the F8 Tributo is even sexier than the car it replaces.

The F8 heralds the return of twin rear tail lamps. They make the rear appear wider and lower. Above the semi-active rear spoiler is a louvred lightweight Lexan rear windscreen paying homage to the one found in the F40. It saves weight, but does distort rear visibility.

Less controversial is the S-duct in the nose that helps plant the front of the F8 to the tarmac in high-speed corners. It is part of a revised aerodynamic-heat extraction scheme taken from the Ferrari Challenge cars and 488 Pista.

The new F8 is some 40kg lighter than the 488 GTB, and this helps it get to 100kmh in 2.9 seconds (0.1 seconds quicker). By 7.8 seconds, it passes 200kmh (0.5 seconds quicker).

Top speed is raised by 10kmh to 340kmh, thanks to a 5 per cent reduction in drag and 10 per cent increase in downforce.

With its wonderfully sorted chassis and Ferrari's side-slip control, the F8 can be driven with considerable brio through the many corners of Varano, a private circuit an hour's drive from the Ferrari factory in Maranello.

The precision of the steering and chassis remains as faithful on the track as it did over country roads that led us to Varano.

Remarkably, its electric power steering has decent feel. This keeps things interesting even when you are not cornering at the limit of the tyres' grip. In this case, the Pirelli P-Zeros (not the semi-race tyres found on the Pista) have slightly less grip, but they still complement the F8's refinement with better ride and noise characteristics.

Yes, this F8 is blisteringly fast, but surprisingly not intimidating. Its side-slip control juggles power between the rear wheels and stabilises the car with minimal amount of steering and brake/throttle corrections.

Make no mistake, the F8 is by no means a demure car. It requires an experienced driver to get the best out of it - like most Ferraris.