The Italian manufacturers' feud appears to still be burning strong.
Ferrari has been spotted testing a Lamborghini Huracan STO at its Fiorano testing circuit. Benchmarking rival supercars is a common activity that many manufacturers dive into, but it is peculiar to see competing engineers driving opposition cars with this much enthusiasm.
It could be possible that Ferrari wants a true idea of how fast its main rival is around the circuit so it knows where it needs to be in terms of performance and general race track usage. Next to anything Ferrari has in its lineup at the moment, the Huracan STO is looking a bit dated as it still features the group's naturally aspirated V10. Despite the weight savings and improved downforce, it has struggled to keep up with the younger crowd.
The STO's main rival would have been the Ferrari 488 Pista, but this is no more and now the brand needs to develop a follow-up based on the F8 Tributo. If benchmarking is currently being conducted, it means that this track-focused product could be arriving soon.
We already know that the brand may be looking at bringing an end to the F8 model line now that the 296 GTB has comfortably been introduced as an unintended replacement. What better way to end a model line than by introducing a hardcore variation? This is a trend that Ferrari has stuck to ever since the 348 Challenge.
Until any official announcements are made, all we can do is speculate as to what makes the Huracan STO such an important car to Ferrari. The Lamborghini's V10 offers 631 horsepower and 417 lb-ft of torque which is a figure that Ferrari can easily match with its twin-turbo V8 engine family. The current F8 Tributo is good for 710 hp and 568 lb-ft and does not weigh much more than the STO, but lacks the aggressive aero which could give the Raging Bull an edge on the track.
So far we've been given a hint at what a hardcore F8 may look like thanks to the likes of Novitec and Mansory, but as per Ferrari's consistent design direction, whatever we may land up seeing is likely to be a bit sleeker and more reserved.