This is the new Ferrari F8 Tributo. Apart from being the most powerful mid-engined V8 Ferrari till date, the Rosso-liveried model is the Italian brand’s walloping attack on its chief rival in Woking.

The Tributo bridges the power gap that pushed the Ferrari 488 below McLaren’s 720S. Outputting 50hp more than the 488 is the same 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 engine that the company doesn’t hesitate to remind us won International Engine of the Year Awards three years in a row.

The Ferrari F8 Tributo sports a sharper look with a more cohesive design than the 488's.

“Without the slightest hint of turbo lag,” the Tributo warps to the ton in a brisk 2.9 seconds and goes on to hit the wall at 339kph. Reigning all that power in is an improved set of electronic assists including the latest version of ‘Slide Slip Control’ and ‘Dyanamic Enhancer’ with the latter acting on ‘Race’ position, making performance on the limit easier to reach and control for a greater number of drivers.

At 40kg lighter than the 488 at 1330kg, Ferrari F8 Tributo features new tech derived from the 488 Pista for better heat management. Contributing to the 15 per cent more downforce is the new S-Duct – again another Pista inspiration – redesigned for deployment on the F8.

A new 10.7-touchscreen infotainment system has been added to the F8 Tributo.

The F8 also features more space for brake cooling ducts and better airflow around the front. Its rear windscreen shows off engine features similar to that of the Ferrari F40. This, however, has a job to do, removing hot air from the bay. The blown spoiler adds to the aforementioned downforce over the old car. Wrapping around the rear lights, Ferrari has decided to bring back the twin-clusters.

The cabin is a pleaser too with additions such as a new generation of ‘Human Machine Interface’. While most elements are shared with the 488, the infotainment system now sports a 7.0-inch touchscreen display for the passenger. The air vent design is also new and the steering wheel is now smaller in diameter.

More details on the Ferrari F8 Tributo along with pricing are expected to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show next week. Till then, McLaren seems to be finally faced with a worthy opponent from the Italian brand.