Public tribute

Motoring | C Hung 12 Jun 2019

Ferrari's local distributor offered members of the public a rare opportunity to get up close and personal to the marque's most significant new model of the year, the F8 Tributo, over the weekend at the Elements mall.

The "unique showcase" celebrating multiple decades of the excellence of V8 engines was held for four days ended Sunday. It was a deviation from the usual practice of allowing only invited guests to preview a new model, usually behind closed doors.

A replacement model to the acclaimed 488 GTB, in all likelihood, the mid-engined Ferrari F8 Tributo will no doubt be responsible for the lion's share of sales - in the same way previous V8 models dominated the company's sales charts over the past four decades.

There will be no shortage of customers who are willing to spend HK$4.33 million up on the new two-seater, even though they know that it won't possibly be delivered to their garage within a year from now.

No one in association with Ferrari seems too concerned about the fact that the book was open for ordering well before the sportscar's local public appearance.

Certainly not Angela Dong, general manager of Ferrari Hong Kong who made her graceful appearance at the event.

Hong Kong has always been an important market for Ferrari as there is a unique, discerning group of Ferrari customers, said the executive at the opening remarks of the event.

Others may be a little more interested in the performance of the new car.

While the core customers of the new F8 Tributo need hardly any urging to open their checkbooks for one, visitors to the venue and residents in the nearby luxury apartment units might appreciate the opportunity to learn more about the celestial performance of the sportscar.

Meeting guests at the event, Jon Chester, general manager of the local distributor Blackbird Concessionaires, impressed the audience as he talked about the award-winning V8 engine.

"The heart and soul of every Ferrari is its engine," he said, pointing out the peerless qualities of the engine's power, performance and sound.

However, the engine capable of 720PS output, a figure that a few years ago was considered purely for hyper-cars, emphasized Chester, comes equally with maximum usability and user-friendliness like never before, resulting in "much improved driver experience."

In addition, the F8 Tributo also features a large amount of technology and design derived from Ferrari racing.

Chester pointed out the outstanding aerodynamic performance of the new sportscar, as well as the upgraded Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (FDE+) that is responsible for "improved handling characteristics."

While the F8 Tributo took center stage, it was flanked by two others in the stable: the 812 Superfast and the Portofino.

The local distributor wasn't too bothered about the commercial side of the showcase, but the move certainly allowed casual observers the luxury of getting close to Ferrari cars, and learn about the rich heritage of the brand.

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