WHILE THE SPECTACLE OF ECOTY COMES FROM THE wild disparity between a broad list of contenders, it is at its most intense when very similar cars fight tooth and nail for their place in the final. This year the most conspicuous internecine battle is undoubtedly the one between the Ferrari F8 Tributo, Lamborghini Huracán Evo RWD and McLaren 765LT.
To have three such potent mid-engined supercars in the same year is pretty remarkable, but to have three such different mid-engined supercars is truly exciting. Cars of this calibre always add to the show, of course, but when they’re thrown in with such a special group of contenders, their participation also offers the possibility of some delicious David and Goliath battles further down the line.
All in good time. Right now we need to get beneath the skin of each of these incredible supercars and decide which deserve to make it through to part two.
One thing worth having at the forefront of your mind is the potency these cars possess and the level at which they perform. It’s not often a Lamborghini is the junior of the group, but with 602bhp and 560Nm of torque it is at a significant disadvantage to the F8’s 710bhp and 770Nm and the 765LT’s colossal 754bhp and 800Nm. I’m not going to list the performance figures for each, but I’ll just leave this here: the McLaren will hit 200kmph from a standstill in 7.0sec and lap pretty much any given circuit at McLaren Senna-like pace. I’m not sure eCoty has ever seen the like.
If deciding which to jump into and drive first is indicative of how hard these cars are to separate, we’re in for quite a challenge. After a momentary pause I step towards the F8.
A cynic might dismiss the Tributo as a run-out facelift that breaks no new ground, but the reality is that, to all intents and purposes, it’s a more comfortable, prettier, cheaper 488 Pista, with Ferrari’s latest-gen electronics to make it even more exploitable.
Push the starter button and the 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 starts with a snarl, but quickly settles into a subdued and rather nondescript idle. As we discover out on track it has a certain something when wrung out, but much as I hate to hark back to ‘the good old days’, it’s a shame that a rampant 700-plus horsepower Ferrari should have a less than operatic voice.
It’s quick, though. Super-quick, in fact. And as agile as a gymnast. With less weight and more grunt than the 488 it is blessed with terrific athleticism. You need relaxed arms and calm(ish) hands to find its flow, as stiff, abrupt inputs will simply make it feel jumpy, but once you understand its liking for an economy of input the whole thing gels.
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