3.9-litre unit wins four awards for its “efficiency, performance and flexibility” at the 2016 Engine Expo

The Ferrari 488 GTB and 488 Spider engine, the 3.9-litre twin-turbocharged V8 unit, has won the Engine of the Year Award at this year’s Engine Expo in Stuttgart.

The new supercar engine has been recognised for its flexible performance and significant improvements in efficiency over its naturally aspirated predecessor, picking up a total of four wins. These were in the categories of the Performance Engine award, New Engine award, 3.0-litre to 4.0-litre category and overall main prize.

Graham Johnson, co-chairman of the International Engine of the Year Awards, explained why the team of 63 jurors chose the Ferrari unit, saying: “It’s a giant leap forward for turbocharged engines in terms of efficiency, performance and flexibility.

"It truly is the best engine in production today and will forever be remembered as one of the all-time greats.”

Autocar’s own experience of the 3.9-litre unit has confirmed it has no detectable lag and a rev-hungry nature – a trait normally reserved for naturally aspirated units. The engine produces 661bhp, which equates to an impressive 169.2bhp, and emits 260g/km of CO2. It can also manage a claimed combined fuel efficiency figure of 24.8mpg.

The turbocharged V8’s predecessor, the atmospheric 4.5-litre V8 featured in the 458 Italia, produced 562bhp and emitted 275g/km of CO2, while offering around 21-24mpg. It won two awards at the 2011 Engine Expo for the Best Performance Engine and Above 4.0-litre categories.

Ford’s EcoBoost 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit had picked up the main Engine of the Year prize over three consecutive years between 2012 and 2014. 

Ferrari also won the Above 4.0-litre Award at this year's event for its naturally-aspirated 6.3-litre V12 engine, which powers the F12 Berlinetta and F12tdf.

Our Verdict

Ferrari 488 GTB

Can the turbocharged successor to the 458 raise the bar again?

Join the debate


1 June 2016
The justification I need to persuade a bank manager to lend the money for a car that costs more than my house.

1 June 2016
How a turbo engine can be Engine of the Year ?!

1 June 2016
Why give to Ferrari when Fiat Group is under suspicion of cheating emissions regulations by switching off devices at the end of the test period? Sends the wrong message. Or does Engine Technology condone that sort of behaviour?

2 June 2016
Ferrari has as much to do with Fiat as Range Rover or Jaguar has to do with Tata. Ferrari builds the best engines in the world, be it NA or turbo, and this turbo engine is simply the best turbo engine in the world, by a big margin. But the engine is just one of the reasons Ferrari always tops Porsche and Mclaren. They are simply a few steps above the rest.


Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    It's got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again