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.