Ferrari said arrivederci to the 488 GTB in February and replaced it with the F8 Tributo and we have been drooling over images of it — especially the louvred Lexan engine cover reminicsent of the iconic F40 — ever since. But now, Al Tayer Motors has launched the new mid-rear-engined sportscar in the UAE and we are hoping to get up close and very personal with it although that probably means that we’ll just be pressing our noses against the dealership windows and looking forlornly on at it as we don’t have the Dh1 million required (that’s before customisation) to buy the supercar. Oh well, we can dream...

Representing the highest expression of the iconic Italian brands classic two-seater berlinetta, the F8 Tributo is a homage to the most powerful V8 in Ferrari history and is open for bookings through the Al Tayer Motors showroom in Dubai and the Premier Motors showroom in Abu Dhabi offered with an extended seven-year maintenance programme.

Producing 710 horses at 7,000rpm (50 more than the 488 GTB) and 770Nm of torque at 3,250rpm, it is the most powerful V8 ever fitted to a non-special series Ferrari. The twin-turbocharged 3.9-litre motor — already used in the 488 Pista (from which the F8 Tributo borrows various bits of aero) — won “Best Engine” in the International Engine of the Year awards three years running in 2016, 2017 and 2018. It comes mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and can hit 0-100kph in just 2.9 seconds (0-200kph in 7.8!) and has a top speed of 340kph. Ferrari says the F8 Tributo doesn’t suffer even a hint of turbo lag and it has a an evocative soundtrack — while the instantaneous power is matched by exceptional handling.

Designed by the Ferrari Styling Centre, it is also the most aerodynamically efficient series-production mid-rear-engined berlinetta ever built and has been blessed with new electronics that elevate cornering capabilities. The Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer integrated into the car’s vehicle dynamic controls makes oversteer maneuvers easier to control (it can be activated in the manettino’s Race position for the first time) and it packs the latest version of the Side Slip Angle Control, now in 6.1 guise.

It weighs 1,435kg making it 40kg lighter than the 488 GTB (18kg was shed from the engine thanks to the adoption of Inconel exhaust headers, titanium con-rods and a lightweight optimized flywheel) and it benefits from a 10 per cent improvement in aerodynamic efficiency.

As for the interior, every element of the dash, door panels and tunnel have been redesigned while the new generation HMI (Human Machine Interface) features round air vents, a new steering wheel and a new 7in passenger touchscreen display.

Speaking at the launch event, Raid Abusitta, Vice-President – Sales, Ferrari at Al Tayer Motors said; “The Ferrari F8 Tributo has made waves internationally since images of the car were unveiled ahead of its official launch at the Geneva Motor Show. Interest in the car has been very strong and we look forward to seeing the car join the many Prancing Horse models in the UAE.”