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Ferrari 488 Pista V8 awarded Engine of the Year

The winning 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 has been used in the Ferrari 488 GTB, 488 Spider and the recently-revealed 488 Pista.
Ron Hammerton
Contributing Journalist
GoAutoMedia

7 Jun 2018 • 4 min read

Ferrari's acclaimed 3.9-litre bi-turbo V8 has taken first place at the International Engine of the Year awards for the third time in a row.

The Ferrari 488 supercar donk scored a record-breaking 486 points, beating the Porsche 911's 3.0-litre turbocharged boxer, which came second with 198 points. The Italian-built engine also won the performance engine of the year award and the 3.0-4.0-litre category.

When announcing the winning engine, awards co-chairman Dean Slavnich made it clear that it was no close call.

"Redeveloped and tweaked for the 488 Pista, the best engine in the world just got better," he said.

"Without doubt, we're looking at an engineering masterclass from Ferrari. No turbo lag, beautiful delivery, raw emotion, a furious growl and so much power – this Ferrari V8 is a work of art."

This is only the second time an engine has won three times in a row, with Ford's 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost the first to manage the feat.

Further illustrating the Prancing Horse's engineering prowess, third place was given to the 6.5-litre V12 from the Ferrari 812 Superfast, which also took out the new engine award and the above 4.0-litre award.

The winning 3.9-litre unit, now in its third iteration, delivers a whopping 530kW and 770Nm in the new Pista, up 85kW and 10Nm over the previous version.

Those figures put the bent-eight at the top of its class, producing 136kW per litre on the way to its 8000rpm redline.

German carmaker Porsche took out two categories, winning the 1.9-2.0-litre and the 2.5-3.0-litre segments with its four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbo from the Boxster and Cayman and the 3.0-litre turbo boxer from the 911.

Other notable victories came from Tesla which won the electric and the green engine awards, and Volkswagen which topped the sub-1.0-litre category with its 999cc petrol three-pot found across its small car line-up.

PSA Group's 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol unit won the 1.0-1.4-litre category, BMW's 1.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid unit took out the 1.4-1.8-litre award, and Audi's lauded 2.5-litre five-cylinder petrol engine won the 2.0-2.5-litre category.

For every category, the judges each had 25 points to allocate across five engines. A maximum 15 points could be given to one engine and the minimum was one point.

The panellists judged each engine on characteristics including fuel economy, smoothness, performance, noise and driveability.

What is your all-time favourite engine? Let us know in the comment section below.