Ferrari F8 Tributo: An homage to the paddle shift
7:07

Ferrari F8 Tributo: An homage to the paddle shift

Sports Cars
Speaker 1: Most of you are probably aware about my preelection for a manual gearbox. I love the sense of interaction of skill of tactility. It just brings you closer to the driving experience of any, a particular car closer to the engine. But whenever I'm trying to pick out a top, whatever my dream garage, there [00:00:30] is always one paddle shift gear box that I think I struggle to live with. That it's this it's for ours. Why [00:01:00] do I love this one so much? Well, for a start, the paddles themselves, they're so big. So theatrical they're sort of miniature acts heads. I like the fact that they're stationary because I think paddles shouldn't be in a way. I like the fact that they always know exactly where they are. I also like the long throw to the paddles. I know it's just a switch, but I'm like your feeling that you can slowly pull the paddle through its travel when you're not in a rush. [00:01:30] However, if you need down shifts in a hurry quick, as you like the travel adds some tactility to the process, you can add a bit of flourish to your changes. If you want, of course, you can also switch it up with which finger or fingers you choose to use. Of course, one finger, two finger, three fingers, four Speaker 2: Fingers. Speaker 1: Variation is enormous. I know Then there are the [00:02:00] actual shifts themselves. There are so fast and they make such a demonstrably fast shift that I know I can never match that with a manual gear box. I love the fact that if you come into a corner, you can break so late and pull on far more shifts than you ever would with a manual break right up to the apex left for break. If you want, which I do like, and of course you can do that in a manual, but it's just a little [00:02:30] bit easier with this. Speaker 1: You can really buzz the red line on the way down the box in a way that you just probably wouldn't dare with a manual. It reminds me of those fantastic onboard laps from F1 cars in the eighties when you're sure they must be over overing, the engine as they shift. [00:03:00] Of course, amazing though. The F trios turbocharge V8 is the shifts do feel even crisper and more exciting when all to the response highs, I've never experienced more down shifts than 12. I also remember the 4, 5, 8 S alley driving that, and you would pile into a corner like this. And even this, you could just load on the rear axle so much because you can leave [00:03:30] the down shift. So late. In fact, there is an argument to say that the last of the old single clutch automated manuals in the four 30 skiier and the five GTO were even more dramatic. Speaker 1: Well, I have to say this does feel more robust. The latest eight speed jewel clutch from the SF 19 in Roma, which is even more compact and six kilos lighter than the seven speed simply continues. This lineage of stunning paddle shifts. Arguably of course, Ferrari should be better than everyone else because [00:04:00] they've been doing it longer than everybody else. They were first people to put a paddle shift in a road car in 3, 5, 5, perhaps even more famously. They were the first people to put a paddle shift in a formula, one car, Nigel MANSEL, one on its first outing. And the rest, as they say is history. But what you might not know is that a paddle shift wasn't actually put there to improve shift times. It was more to do with packaging. John Barnard had worked out that if you could get rid of the linkage between the shift up here and the gearbox at the [00:04:30] back of the car, well, you could package it more tightly, improve the aerodynamics. Speaker 1: If you could make it an electrical signal from a paddle up here, going to the gearbox of the back, where the shift happened. Well, so much better. What you also might not know is that the paddle shift could have appeared an F1. Even earlier. You see at the very end of the 1970s Ferrari installed a semi-automatic transmission, intimate 3, 1, 2 T4 with the changes instigated by push buttons on the steering wheel. Geo V nerve completed 100 trouble-free [00:05:00] laps around fear, but he didn't like it. After jumping outta the car, he said a steel shift lever will always be more reliable than electronics, Enzo Ferrari, trusted Jill implicitly, and therefore he shelved the whole project. What might have been a, that first paddle shift in the 3 55 was of called, called F1 shift. And that F1 tag remains on Ferrari's boxes to this day, which might make you wonder, can you feel like you're in an F1 [00:05:30] car, an F1 car? No, but a GT car. Yes. I think in this, you can feel like you're in a race car in a way that you don't with a manual. If you're on track, this box feels as quick as it would in a race car. I think the shifts are so fast. Certainly the lights up here add a bit of theatricality and a bit of race car vibe as well. And whereas in Emanuel, a road car manual never really feels like a race car manual, [00:06:00] but this there's no difference. Really. Speaker 1: It's so good. I love this. It's basically the same as the beast. And I love that. It's so vast. So vast that in fact, I'm always not sure Manuel would suit him. I'd be intrigued to try it with an open gate in three pedals, obviously, but with the sharpness of the steering in modern Ferrari, I'm just not sure Manuel would make sense. [00:06:30] You really feel like you want to have both hands on the wheel all the time with steering this quick, the two systems steering and pedal shift are symbiotic and they make for a truly fabulous driving experience. So yes, manuals matter. And they were probably still for 80 90% of my top 10, but this paddle shift deserves praise as well.

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