Ferrari’s twin-turbo 3.9-litre V8 engine will be remembered as one of the all-time great powerplants, says the co-chairman of the International Engine of the Year awards, Britain’s Graham Johnson.
The engine is used in the new 488 GTB (above) and Spider and California T and topped four categories in the annual awards, including the 2016 International Engine of the Year gong. It also won the 3-litre to 4-litre class, New engine and Performance engine.
“It’s a giant leap forward for turbocharged engines in terms of efficiency, performance and flexibility,” Johnson said. “It truly is the best engine in production today.”
The V8 delivers 492kW of power and 760Nm of torque in the 448 GTB and Spider, and a slightly detuned 415kW/755Nm in the California T convertible. In the 3-litre to 4-litre class, it beat Mercedes-AMG’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 used in the GT and C63, and Porsche’s naturally aspirated 4.0-litre flat six used in the 911 R and GT3.
The 3.9-litre unit scored 331 votes from the panel of 61 judges, well ahead of the 278 votes for BMW’s i8 engine, which won the premier award in 2015. Porsche’s turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine was third, with 267 votes. The boosted flat-six can deliver 309kW/500Nm and replaces the outgoing 3.4- and 3.8-litre naturally aspirated units.
A naturally aspirated Ferrari engine also won the 4-litre plus category. The 6.3-litre V12 in the Ferrari F12 beat Audi’s 5.2-litre V10 used by the R8 and Lamborghini Huracan, and Mercedes-AMG’s 5.5-litre V8 used models such as the E63, S63 and GLE63.
As usual, the awards were split into sub-categories related to size, along with categories for green, performance and new engines.
Ford’s three-cylinder 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine took out the sub 1-litre category for the fifth year in a row, beating Volkswagen Group’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo, used in models such as the Audi A1, and Polo.
The 1 to 1.4-litre category was won by PSA Group’s 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo, which powers such models as the Peugeot 208 and 308, and the Citroen C4 and C4 Cactus. It beat the BMW 1.2-litre turbo three-pot used in the Mini One.
The 1.4 to 1.8-litre category was won by the BMW i8 engine, beating out yet another BMW powertrain, the 1.5-litre turbo triple found in the 118i, 218i and 318i.
The turbocharged four-cylinder 2.0-litre 280kW/475Nm engine in the Mercedes-AMG’s A45, GLA45 and CLA45 won the 1.8 to 2-litre class, beating the Audi 2.0-litre TFSI engine.
The 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine used in the Audi RS3 and RSQ3 won the 2 to 2.5-litre category, ahead of the boosted 2.5-litre four-cylinder in the updated Porsche 718 Boxster.
The Porsche 911 – the overall third placegetter – took out the 2.5 to 3-litre category, its boosted 3.0-litre boxer beating the in–line twin-turbo six used in the BMW M3 and M4.
Tesla’s all-electric drivetrain won the Green category, ahead of the BMW i8 and the T8 2.0-litre petrol-electric hybrid in the Volvo XC90.
|Engine of the Year: Ferrari 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8|
|Sub 1-litre||Ford 1.0-litre EcoBoost|
|1-1.4-litre||PSA 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo|
|1.4-1.8-litre||BMW 1.5-litre petrol electric hybrid|
|1.8-2-litre||Mercedes-AMG 2.0-litre turbo|
|2-2.5-litre||Audi 2.5-litre turbo five-cylinder|
|2.5-3-litre||Porsche 3.0-litre turbo six-cylinder|
|3-4-litre||Ferrari 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8|
|4-litre plus||Ferrari 6.3-litre V12|
|Green||Tesla electric drivetrain|
|New||Ferrari 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8|
|Performance||Ferrari 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8|