Ferrari unveils the 710-horsepower F8 Tributo Spider. Can you think of any car you’d rather have for a long weekend? FERRARI
Ferrari has introduced a staggering number of new vehicles in the past 12 months. The Icona cars based on the 812 Superfast, F8 Tributo Berlinetta, SF90 Stradale gas-electric hybrid. With the turn of another season, leaves falling, air cooling, now is the perfect time to introduce not one, but two spiders, the most romantic of all sports car designs.
The Ferrari retractable top design includes a rear window that retracts, allowing more aero back spill to rustle the hair of your companion.
First, the central pillar of the Ferrari brand, the mid-engine V8 F8 Tributo. The Spider was developed in parallel with the berlinetta, ensuring the structure is robust and thus handling precision high even though the roof structure is removed.
Folding metal roof panels fit beneath rear tonneau, which opens like a clamshell. FERRARI
Open cars are not just about speed and performance, but the pleasure of driving en plein air. For some, only the purity of the berlinetta will do, a purist approach to speed. But for sensualists, an open car is the highest and most desirable of the sports car genre.
Ferrari F8 Tributo Spider. No other supercar maker can match the ergonomic perfection of a mid-engine Ferrari. They simply cannot. All those decades of making mid-engine sports-racing cars and everything Ferrari has learned since introducing the V6 Dino of the 1960s. FERRARI
In Tributo Spider, we find the same 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8 and by and large all the same mechanicals of the Berlinetta, though the top mechanism adds about 154 pounds. The V8 has virtually no lag, with maximum torque gushing at a low and easy 3250 rpm. From that point to the 8000 rpm redline, the engine has plenty of steam, 710 horsepower at the top. Tributo Spider will hit 60 mph in 2.9 seconds, basically matching the berlinetta. From standing start, acceleration is primarily a function of tire traction and putting all that torque to the pavement. Here, Spider has the goods.
F8 Tributo Spider’s cockpit should match the 488’s, the air tranquil at speeds up to and over 100 mph, with limited buffeting, and the ability to carry on a civilized conversation. FERRARI
Tributo Spider’s extra weight only comes into play from 62-124 mph (that’s 100 to 200 kmh), ticking about 4/10ths of a second slower than the berlinetta—that’s a very aggressive highway roll-on drag race or pass of a dawdling farm truck on a long country two-lane. Or, it’s a difference of speed on a straight at track day.
Ferrari F8 Tributo Spider. FERRARI
But on a tour of the wine country with a pleasant companion, dappled light and grape stakes all around, do you really care? In Spider form, Tributo will flat-out leave all but the most super of supercars in its wake. And a Spider is a car for a tour of the pleasures, a tour of the senses, not track day.
Ferrari long ago mastered the relationship in a mid-engine car between low cowl height combined with a steeply sloping front hood to maximize visibility and the sensation of the road rushing at your feet. Add to that excellent 360-degree view from the pilot’s seat, and remarkably good vision to the rear three-quarters. You simply cannot a Ferrari for that en plein air sensation. FERRARI.
For the first time in a long time, Ferrari will series-build an open-air front-mid-engine V12 Ferrari. We’ve seen batch-built open V12s in the recent past, production volumes one can count on fingers, all going to long-time and abundantly supportive clientele. But with the 812 GTS, an open-air V12 is available to a broader swath of Ferrari customers.
812 GTS fits into the great Berlinetta tradition that includes the 365 Daytona, the 275, and all the 250 series cars of the late 1950s and into the 1960s. FERRARI
Compared to the 812 Superfast Berlinetta, the GTS has unique rear bodywork. The Origami steel sections that form the roof fold and drop under the rear tonneau. FERRARI
The 812 GTS has a 6.5-liter V12 that produces 789 horsepower in the American measure, or 800 cheval vapeur, Ferrari’s preferred means of measure on the dynomometer. FERRARI
Sports cars and supercars of 2019 are all so dramatically more powerful and quick than anything that was available when I started 35 years ago in the age of Ferrari F40s and Testarossas and 348s that I’d gladly give up a few ticks on a balls-out sprint in exchange for the sensual experience of open air. I have a dear old friend who takes his 488 Berlinetta to track days and he would never accept anything but a coupe. But I always favor the open sports car—spider, speedster, cabrio, roadster. The minor loss in performance at extra-extra-legal speeds has little relevance when taking a moonlight drive, or dawn patrol over a mountain or along PCH headed to breakfast, or a long weekend in our California Central Coast wine country.