It’s been eight years since any engine featuring more than four cylinders has won the outright International Engine of the Year title, and an entire decade since anything bigger than a six-cylinder has finished first. But at long last a V8 powertrain, oozing with state-of-the-art technologies, has won the International Engine of the Year.
And it should come as no surprise to learn that the victorious V8 is Ferrari’s all-conquering F154CB heart, which has already secured no fewer than three other distinctions at this year’s International Engine of the Year Awards: Performance Engine, New Engine and the 3-litre to 4-litre Engine. In doing so, the 3,902cc creation with a pair of twin-scroll IHI blowers, becomes one of only three powertrains to take four trophies in one year, in turn securing its place in the automotive engine elite.
Technically another ‘downsized’ winner, in that the Ferrari 3.9-litre replaces the multiple award-winning 4.5-litre V8 in yesteryear’s 458, the all-new eight-cylinder moves things forward hugely for performance powertrain development, proving that if done right, a screaming turbo design can not only replace a naturally aspirated unit, it can better it too.
Explosive power of 670ps delivered at 8,000rpm and 760Nm torque at 3,000rpm in seventh gear, along with a razor-sharp throttle response time of just 0.8 seconds at 2,000rpm in third gear, wowed all the judges.
“This blend of heart-thumping performance on both road and track, with a glorious V8 Maranello rumble, was enough to get the 488 engine to the final round of the International Engine of the Year Awards,” enthused Dean Slavnich, co-chairman of the International Engine of the Year Awards. “But it was the powertrain’s sophisticated design – loaded with advanced technologies – that saw off a serious challenge from last year’s winner, BMW’s i8 PHEV creation, as well as Porsche’s new straight-six turbo in the 911, to take top honours. Bravo Ferrari, this is a fitting victory for a remarkable engine!”