News

458 -v- F8 Tributo

Discussion in '458 Italia/488/F8' started by Michael Petersen, May 23, 2020 at 6:40 PM.

  1. Michael Petersen

    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 11, 2015
    63
    Australia
    Last week, the manager at my Ferrari dealer took me for a test drive in an F8 Tributo. I had the car for close to an hour, driving it on the freeway, on a curving boulevard and in surburbia.

    What a fantastic car! Although I still don’t like the huge side air vents, the car is sharp looking, with the angles and curves in the right places. Inside it is extra well appointed, even luxurious. The manager (a really good guy) commented that he saw this car as an example of Ferrari going into the luxury products market! The dashboard and controls are beautifully laid out, with the horn now back where it should be (and not located in those impossible to find spots on the 458’s steering wheel) and the air vents looking like the 812s.

    The car was bloody fast - put the foot down and it really took off, and even when going straight, a semi-plant of the foot made the back end wriggle for the quickest moment before the car’s controls brought it back straight. It was hard, in areas where the speed limit felt like 10 km/h (in reality between 40 and 60 km/h) to test the car’s cornering ability, but from the driving I did, it felt glued to the road.

    I wasn’t keen on the rear perspex window but of course the spider version won’t have that problem and I would never buy it as a hard top car. (The last hard top I owned was in 1978 and since then I have owned 3 great soft-tops before graduating to my 458 Spider.)

    The other downsides? I must have been imagining it, but some of the gear shifts seemed slow at times at low speeds. Again I must have been dreaming, but I was also sure that I could sense a momentary lag in the turbo when I put the foot down.

    Overall? A fantastic car. A real temptation for my next Ferrari. It is seriously gorgeous to drive.

    But then I got back into my 458 Spider to drive home and OMG, the driving pleasure of my car was so much better than the F8 Tributo, that I was stunned. Yep, my car is slower and doesn’t handle as well, and it is less refined. But as for the driving pleasure? The 458 left the F8 Tributo well in its wake. The symphony that the 458 engine plays, that roar and crackle (and occasional pop) is just incomparably better than the turbo engine of the F8 Tributo. Being slightly less surrounded by luxury also makes the driving experience so much more real and exciting.

    The F8 Tributo is fantastic and is now on my agenda as a potential new car, but there is no way that it will replace the 458. Rather I can’t imagine myself saying goodbye to the 458 but can see myself adding a stablemate. The 458 is just way too much of a driver’s car, more real and it sounds a trillion times better than any of the other Ferrari’s.

    I can certainly recommend that you try the F8 Tributo - I was never taken by the various 488 models (and I have had the good fortune to drive a few of them around the Fiorano and Varano di Melegari circuits), but the F8 Tributo is another leap ahead.

    It’s just that no matter how good the car is (and it is very very very good), there are some aspects that just don't light me up the way the 458 does.
     
  2. Patrick4er

    Patrick4er Rookie

    Dec 29, 2017
    1
    MILWAUKEE, WI
    Full Name:
    Patrick Forrer
    Amen. Same thing. Sold a 458 a little over two years ago, went to dealership to drive F8. Drove it back to back against a Speciale they had in the show room. Walked away buying the Speciale. . . I just think it’s a modern classic and strikes all the right chords


    Sent from my iPhone using FerrariChat
     
  3. dustman

    dustman F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 12, 2007
    5,007
    I have my 4th 458 (spider) incoming....
     
    plastique999, RayJohns, x z8 and 6 others like this.
  4. Rory breaker

    Rory breaker Karting

    Apr 17, 2017
    195
    I’ve had a decent amount of drive time in the F8 and at its growing on me. It’s amazing how drivable it is just as an a to b vehicle...then when you hammer it, it flies. Screams up top. A bit laggy below 4k/5k. Pulls like a freight train on the highway, big top end. Sound is lame. Turbos sound great, but needs a proper exhaust, badly, can barely hear it sing. I’ve driven valves open and totally stock, both way too quiet. Braking seems on point, handling, etc.

    Overall, if I were aiming to buy “the new ferrari in the series” I’d have no qualms enjoying the heck out of an f8. Very different than the 458. Totally different power delivery, steering and ride both way stiffer in 458, 2 diff cars for 2 diff types of driving experience. Same way I’d say 600LT v 458, 2 diff cars/experiences. My preference would be if I’m carving twisties, or driving for “fun” I’d take the 458. If I’m doing highway pulls, going to the store, going out to dinner, cruising to the beach, etc...F8. 2 diff experiences.
     
    PhilNotHill likes this.
  5. Jo Sta7

    Jo Sta7 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 13, 2015
    2,611
    Scottsdale/Pittsburgh
    Full Name:
    Jon
    I hate making this comment, as it only tends to lead to chaos and I’ve never driven an F8. But from the comments, If I was to add one to the stable I’d look really hard at a used 720S. It’s not as attractive as the F8 to me, but it’s quicker, as comfortable and far cheaper used.
     
    Gh21631, Tu160bomber and dustman like this.
  6. PhilNotHill

    PhilNotHill Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jul 3, 2006
    27,220
    Aspen CO 81611
    Full Name:
    FelipeNotMassa
    I live in the Rocky Mountains so 458 spider is it for me.
     
    x z8 likes this.
  7. AlfistaPortoghese

    AlfistaPortoghese Moderator
    Moderator

    Mar 18, 2014
    3,584
    Europe, but not by much.
    Full Name:
    Nuno
    You legend.

    Kind regards,

    Nuno.
     
  8. AlfistaPortoghese

    AlfistaPortoghese Moderator
    Moderator

    Mar 18, 2014
    3,584
    Europe, but not by much.
    Full Name:
    Nuno
    #8 AlfistaPortoghese, May 24, 2020 at 6:26 AM
    Last edited: May 24, 2020 at 6:31 AM
    Great review and analysis, Michael. Thank you for sharing.

    I’ve been to the F8’s launch event at my local Ferrari dealer, but I’m yet to test drive it. Therefore, even being a 458 die hard fan and owner, I can’t and won’t criticise the F8.

    Generally speaking, a refreshing new design, improved ergonomics, new finishing/personalization options, nicer build quality, more power and increased fuel efficiency and/or ease of maintenance, are all positive things, thinks to aspire to when a new car comes out.

    But in this market niche, at the supercar level of the game, one variable should have absolute priority and reign supreme above all else, independently and regardless of all the items mentioned above: how much fun you can have. Newer doesn’t always mean more enjoyable. Faster doesn’t necessarily mean more fun. If it is, then great! But we’re seeing fewer and far between examples of that harmonious marriage by the day. Fun is an intangible, different variable, very personal and disconnected from most other things.

    I get why some people don’t get as much fun driving a newer, faster car. As with most things in life, there’s a balance point somewhere, and more of something doesn’t always make that something better. Just different, which may be enough for others to call it better.

    For me personally, it’s certainly possible for a car to be too fast, too comfortable, too refined, too quiet, too predictable, too composed, too efficient. Politics and the environment have absolute priority in car design and built philosophy nowadays. That gets in the way of fun and enjoyment.

    Up until the 80s, you could smoke on planes. Now you can get arrested if you inadvertently light up at the wrong place, and you can be facing jail time and a judge by the week’s end. You’re left with the choice of smoking outside in the pouring rain, or not smoking at all. Does any smoker take more enjoyment out of his/her cigarette today, regardless of place or flavor, or a couple of years back? Apples and oranges, I know... But in a much broader sense... Are they?

    Kindest regards,

    Nuno.
     
  9. PA Wolfpacker

    PA Wolfpacker Formula Junior

    Aug 19, 2007
    440
    Naples, FL
    Full Name:
    Neil
    For the 458 fans that are looking for something new I suggest you consider a used 812. I just purchased a 2019 model and it is outstanding. If you like the sound in the 458 then be prepared to be blown away with the 812. I thought my old 458 was a scream when I ran up the rpms as I went under overpasses but the 812 is on a completely different level
    You can get a used 812 for the price of a new F8 and it has all of the new technology.
     
  10. AlfistaPortoghese

    AlfistaPortoghese Moderator
    Moderator

    Mar 18, 2014
    3,584
    Europe, but not by much.
    Full Name:
    Nuno
    It’s a very nice and sound recommendation, Neil. Couldn’t agree more and I’m happy to learn you’re enjoying your 812 to the fullest.

    Kind regards,

    Nuno.
     
  11. dustman

    dustman F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 12, 2007
    5,007
    Feel same about an f12?
     
  12. tekaefixe

    tekaefixe Formula Junior

    May 10, 2012
    902
    CH
    Full Name:
    Paulo
    Wow!!! Really?! Details please!!!
     
  13. MANDALAY

    MANDALAY Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    May 23, 2013
    2,042
    AUSTRALIA
    Full Name:
    ANGELO

    4 wow , must have a LOT of 458 for sale over there that are not driven. Down here 6 for the whole of Australia, all old , many kms and frankly wouldn't touch as only one , which is black is the only Ferrari dealer car.
    3 spiders and not one of them is from a dealer
     
  14. Jo Sta7

    Jo Sta7 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 13, 2015
    2,611
    Scottsdale/Pittsburgh
    Full Name:
    Jon
    bc they’re so loved no one sells them.
     
  15. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax F1 Rookie

    Jun 10, 2016
    2,914
    Australia
    #15 Shadowfax, May 24, 2020 at 8:33 PM
    Last edited: May 24, 2020 at 8:53 PM
    I've driven F8 and whilst it's a nice car for what it is, a 720S is the unquestionable bargain of the century in comparison. And whilst appearances may be subjective the 720 does pack more visual punch still and, all round performance. Accordingly, my bet is even once F8 hits 488 pricing - which they will - the 720 would still be the pick. Never thought I would say that, but I gotta call it for how I found it even though I currently hold more favor toward the Ferrari, which is probably just due to a longer term brand anchoring....which is certainly weakening....and for very good reason especially looking at the latest cars coming through.

    Insofar as taking a 458 over an F8 I'd again have to say that on today's scale i'd take neither as there are simply better offerings out there now that deliver better as drivers cars. Granted 458 was a great car on it's day but I can't stand the twitchy controls which really detract from the whole driving experience. I think if you could dial out the twitchy throttle that would be a great start. That all said at least the 458 feels alive vs the F8 which to me is far too regular and bland to drive as a fun car.
     
    tekaefixe likes this.
  16. Jo Sta7

    Jo Sta7 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 13, 2015
    2,611
    Scottsdale/Pittsburgh
    Full Name:
    Jon
    Shadow the 720 has drawbacks as well. For one the constant noticeable buzzing of the hydraulic steering pump. Very annoying. I love the 458. It’s like a presidential Rolex. The basis of a great collection. The F8 and 720S are on the same level for me. Both everyday usable. 720S quicker (4.5 second vs 5.0 second 100-200 kph) but F8 is better looking. I prefer Ferrari interior as well. 720S has current advantage of being far cheaper on used market making it a huge bargain.
     
  17. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax F1 Rookie

    Jun 10, 2016
    2,914
    Australia
    #17 Shadowfax, May 24, 2020 at 9:20 PM
    Last edited: May 24, 2020 at 9:37 PM
    Interesting what you say about the PSP. I wonder are they all like that? Anyway I would agree the build quality appears to be more consistent with the Ferrari. Seems with the Mac you either get a good one or a not so good one. I've never been a huge fan of the alien design of the Mac but its growing on me particularly since the re-tweaking of the design in the 765 which I think looks pretty wild and exciting.

    The Ferrari F8 is the more stylish pretty look for sure but the extroverted alien design cues of the 720 certainly tend to draw more attention from strangers. Up close 720 also looks more bespoke than F8 (which needs a ton of CF options to compete on that front). Performance wise it would appear 720 still sits on top of the pile. And then you also have the "it's a Ferrari" factor....which for good bad or otherwise seems to ring true for most.

    I also think if you've owned a 458 back from 2015 it's an easy decision to keep it rather than trade it for an F8 but if I were shopping on today's scale I would buy neither simply because of the alternatives now available. But if there were no other options/alternatives available and it came down to a choice between the two then I'd most probably take the 458. The reasons being it at least feels alive, sounds very good, and is half the price and isn't likely to fall too much farther. It also drives much more in keeping with the character of the car which I see as very important.
     
  18. dustman

    dustman F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 12, 2007
    5,007
    There are a good ~30ish for sale at any time, including 15+ at F dealers.
     
  19. MANDALAY

    MANDALAY Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    May 23, 2013
    2,042
    AUSTRALIA
    Full Name:
    ANGELO

    Or the delta is too big a pill to swallow
     
  20. x z8

    x z8 Formula Junior

    Nov 22, 2009
    569
    Florida
    Full Name:
    Jeffrey
    Do you crash that many of them? :)
     
    IloveGT likes this.
  21. x z8

    x z8 Formula Junior

    Nov 22, 2009
    569
    Florida
    Full Name:
    Jeffrey
    I added a low mileage F12, $400k sticker for $200k two year extended warranty CPO for $5k. Love the car- 458 still my favorite and I I’m thrilled. No turbos for me. I might as well go electric and much faster if I am going to sacrifice fun.
     
    plastique999 and tekaefixe like this.
  22. Rory breaker

    Rory breaker Karting

    Apr 17, 2017
    195
    What’s your F12 spec/miles? Sounds like a great deal. The 458 has convinced me to look into F12’s for all the same reasons the 458 is great.

    Totally agree re electric. If my aim is to have the fastest car around at a great price, just get a roadster/taycan/model s and be done with it.
    F8 to me falls in that category - great car, fast, fun, but lacks soul, character, lacks a key ingredient that moves you from machine to a vehicle with a personality. Again if I wanted the “new car in the series” the f8 is a great example.

    458’s have they following they have bc it’s not about being the fastest or the quickest or whatever else, it’s just an amazingly balanced, challenging, fun car that wraps the driver around the whole experience, every sense, when pushing the car. It connects the driver to the car to the road in a way that very few vehicles do, and those that do ultimately end up being in demand without fail, regardless of production numbers.
     
  23. dustman

    dustman F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 12, 2007
    5,007
    All of them. Eventually I will increase the value of the last one in existence, or love the sound trying!
     
    x z8 and Adamas like this.
  24. buddyg

    buddyg Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed

    Sep 20, 2004
    2,000
    West Michigan
    Full Name:
    Buddy
    Currently own a 458 spider with an F8 on order. Very excited for the F8 and I have driven it. For sure doesn’t have the intoxicating sound of my 458, but I’m ready to move up the power ladder. McLaren 720 spiders have been tempting me but I cant be without a Ferrari, its my dream come true. Probably will keep the F8 and wait until the 720 spiders drop even more in price and get one.
     
  25. RayJohns

    RayJohns F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    May 21, 2006
    5,691
    West Coast
    Full Name:
    Ray Johns
    I'm curious about that as well.

    After driving the 812 SF, it's pretty clear that if you love the 458, you are probably going to also love the 812 SF. But what about the F12?

    When I have asked some of my friends (who work at Ferrari dealerships) what their view of the F12 vs. the 812SF is, they usually comment that the virtual short wheel base stuff (aka. the rear wheel steering system) does make the 812 feel a bit more compact and nimble when driving it. I definitely wonder what the verdict would be, given say a few days with both cars.

    Ray
     
    AlfistaPortoghese and Thecadster like this.

Share This Page