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Downsizing Is The Way To Go Because Ferrari’s Turbo V8 Just Won Engine Of The Year

It’s powerful enough for gearheads and efficient enough for Greenpeace. What more can you want?

Little did you know that the Engine Expo is held annually in Stuttgart, Germany. It takes a look at some of the best engines that the automotive world has to offer and awards them according to how much they advance the internal combustion engine. Usually, metrics like horsepower per liter, grams of CO2 per kilometer, and response times are judged to see which engine does best (exhaust notes are unfortunately not included). Then, a panel of 63 judges votes on a winner.

This year, Ferrari took the award for engine of the year back home to Modena, Italy, for the V8 that lives under the hood of the 488 GTB. This particular motor is a 3.9-liter unit that uses two turbochargers to help it crank out an impressive 661 horsepower. That’s a huge amount of grunt for a relatively small engine, making for a horsepower per liter ratio of 169.48 hp/liter. This makes it so that the engine only spews 260 grams of CO2 per kilometer and gets a combined fuel efficiency rating of 24.8 miles per gallon. The engine was chosen because of how far it pushes engine technology ahead. Its predecessor, a 4.5-liter V8 that was found in the Ferrari 458 Italia, is no slouch either with 562 horsepower.

Co-chairman of the Engines of the Year Awards Graham Johnson explained why the engine was chosen. “It’s a giant leap forward for turbocharged engines in terms of efficiency, performance and flexibility,” said Johnson. "It truly is the best engine in production today and will forever be remembered as one of the all-time greats.” Ferrari usually wins spots on top engine lists for its remarkable motors that are machined with plenty of passion, but this engine ended up being such a huge leap forward because it keeps sporty characteristics like good throttle response and redline-seeking acceleration despite its turbo handicap.

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