The Ferrari brand and the LEGO group have a long history together, so it's unsurprising to see the 2020 wave of Speed Champions sets bring us another vehicle from the Italian marque. The Ferrari F8 Tributo, set 76895, is Ferrari's mid-engined supercar replacement for the 488 (and before that, 458) - a car we've seen many renderings of in Speed Champions over time. The Ferrari Ultimate Garage from 2018 featured a 488 in a Le Mans winning GT livery, the Ferrari 488 GT3 Scuderia Corsa was released as an individual set, and all the way back at the launch of Speed Champions in 2015 we saw the Ferrari 458 Italia GT2. Released on January 1st 2020, costing £17.99 in the UK and $24.99 in the US, the F8 Tributo has 275 pieces and is around an hour build time if you are used to these sets.
As noted above, this is the first mid-engined Ferrari model we've seen in a while released by LEGO that has relatively few stickers, just 11 for the headlights, badges, licence plates and interior detail. As this is a road-car variant the low sticker count gives this set a unique look in the 2020 Speed Champions range as the rest are based on race cars of varying kinds. The set also bears more than a passing resemblance to the 75899 LaFerrari with a similarly aggressive front, although the 8 wide format allows for way more detail.
If you're a Speed Champions fan, you'll know there's been a huge amount of conversation regarding the growth of these models, from 6 bricks wide to 8 bricks wide from 2020. It's no secret we're a big fan of this move - the increased size allows for more detail and less reliance on stickers to capture the character of the vehicle (ironically, as five of the six sets this year are race cars, most of the 8 wide sets have featured a lot of stickers so far).
So on to the F8 - the model is in red, as usual for LEGO Ferraris, and the box art features the car sweeping around an Italian coastal road. The driver mini-figure has a distinctly Italian feel to him too, with a leather jacket reminiscent of the driver of the 1974 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0, which gives the set a nice touch. As mentioned earlier, there are minimal stickers here - the center column, front and rear Ferrari prancing horses and a licence plate at the back. Interestingly, there's a tiny printed Ferrari logo on the side of a plate (be careful to save these pieces to put in the right place) and the windscreen has the cabin pillars printed onto it rather than being a sticker.
The sweeping headlights of the car are achieved using two stickers on two separate slopes, although with the angular design of the F8 LEGO were always going to have to use stickers strategically in order to achieve the look. The overall sculpture and contour of the model is impressive - with contours/slopes on almost every surface and barely any flat plates or bricks in sight.
The build itself was enjoyable, the new chassis piece and axle mounts remove a lot of the tedious building out to the sides you had with 6-wide models to start building the actual car detail. Now, as soon as you start building you're working on the body or the interior of the car - a good change. Generally, with the higher piece count these 8 wide sets have two bags of parts. The first bag generally builds the back and cabin of the car, while the second has fewer parts and will add the wheels, bonnet, windscreen and roof of the vehicle. The instructions are simple, enjoyable and there aren't many ways to go wrong (except those tiny Ferrari logos on the side of a plate!).
Finished, the car looks great. Beside any of the previous Speed Champions models it's a marked improvement, with a wide and aggressive front end and a more realistic rear. The double diffuser and front air vents can be built into these cars with the extra brick count available in the 8-wide format, and not too many custom or specialist parts have been used, which should mean easier MOC building (although given the windscreen is printed in red, it'll be a limitation). The model comes with two wheel sets, a multi-spoke and a five spoke design (shown here), the five spoke is really the only design that matches the lightweight sleek feel of the F8.
The F8 Tributo came at a strange time for Ferrari. Unveiled at the Geneva Motorshow in 2019, it’s essentially an up-tuned 488 with an all-new design. At a time when Ferrari are looking at hybrid as the answer to performance and climate questions, and the model line up is adding variety (Roma, SF90, California T), the F8 Tributo is a change of name and styling for what was once regarded as 'the' Ferrari - their flagship mid-engine supercar.
The Ferrari and LEGO licensing agreement is clearly in a good place as the price increase from 2019 to 2020 has been kept to a minimum on this set - especially in comparison to the Lamborghini Huracan and Urus STX double pack which has a serious price jump from last year. This set would be a great introduction (or re-introduction) to Speed Champions for anyone who didn't get into the previous sets.
The only change on this model perhaps is the rims which have been an ongoing nuisance with Speed Champions for a long time, hampered by LEGO’s reluctance to introduce new parts or special parts for models outside of Technic or Ultimate flagship brand sets. What this means for collectors is you have a lot of different vehicles from different manufacturers wearing the same wheels, which for a lot of these vehicles are actually the standout design factors in the car. With 8 wide featuring more detail, maybe we can start having customized wheel trims to match these vehicles, and even lower profile tyres.
Of the Speed Champions 2020 sets this is definitely in the top 3 (even more so if the Lamborghini Huracan or Nissan R35 GTR weren't on your wish list), so you'll definitely want to pick this one up. LEGO could have been more adventurous with the colour, but let's be real it's great to have another classic set that really represents the Italian marque. Enjoy this one - it's a great addition to the line up for this year.