Steer Clear of This ‘Scary’ 2020 Ferrari Unless You Drive Only in Straight Lines

Ferrari’s rearing stallion is synonymous with high-quality, high-priced supercars. Boasting powerful performers such as the 812 Superfast, 812 GTS, SF90 Spider, Roma, Portofino, and SF90 Stradale, Ferrari knows a thing or two about building amazing cars.

But MotorTrend recently used another adjective to describe the 2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo. And it’s not necessarily a good thing.

Meet the fast Ferrari F8 Tributo

Ferrari introduced the F8 Tributo as its new mid-rear-engined sportscar. It offers a nod and homage to what the automaker calls the “most powerful V8 in Ferrari history” but with characteristics all its own. As for performance, this supercar packs a 3.9-liter, twin-turbo V8 married to a seven-speed DCT. At 8,000 rpm and with 568 lb-ft of torque, this steed lets you know what 720 horses feel like. Ferrari also says the F8 Tributo features state-of-the-art, innovative aerodynamics inspired by the GT and Challenge championships. 

Outshining the Ferrari 488 GTB might be hard to do, given that many experts consider it Ferrari’s best. But CNET says the F8 Tributo comes pretty close. The two share similarities, including the high-mounted dual exhaust. But the F8 Tributo offers a more sculpted profile, with rounded taillights and a duck-bill spoiler subtly complementing the rear.

What the critics say this sportscar does best

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MotorTrend took the 2020 F8 Tributo for a spin and weighed in with reviews of Ferrari’s latest introduction. Critics liken the Tributo to a missile when it comes to straight-line acceleration. MotorTrend’s senior features editor, Jonny Lieberman, added he felt the dual-clutch transmission shift effortlessly, “like a buttered hummingbird.” The column paddle shifters are also fun. And there’s a bumpy-road mode worth sampling if the pavement gets too sketchy.

Even the 2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo has a few minuses on its scorecard

MotorTrend marks a few minuses on the 2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo‘s scorecard. One significant drawback is this car’s wooden brakes. Replacing yours, which would probably need to happen sooner than later, could cost you a cool $20,000 at your Ferrari dealership. The critics also point out a steering wheel that feels too light and looming snap oversteering as other issues.

Why MotorTrend calls it a ‘scary stallion’

It’s a fast stallion, a stylish stallion, and (with a $200,000-plus base price) an expensive stallion. But MotorTrend calls it’s a “scary stallion.” Chris Walton, the road test editor for MotorTrend, said driving the 2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo offers “intermittent thrills and chills.” But Walton added that those thrills quickly give way to “clenched teeth and relief.” He admitted it was the only car that spooked him at Laguna Seca.

It’s the F8 Tributo’s acceleration through curves that makes reviewers nervous. MotorTrend feature editor Scott Evans said it “felt like dancing on a landmine.” He added how the car couldn’t “put the power down when there’s any steering.” At the risk of oversteering, this kind of pep is suitable only for straightaways. Punching through the turns might have you white-knuckling the drive. Evans said this car “feels dicey when you push it.”

There’s no question the F8 Tributo is a stylish and fast addition to the Ferrari portfolio. But if you’re thinking about buying one, be wary of pushing too hard through turns. This stallion might be best-suited to straightaways.