The Ferrari F8's Engine Is A Star

The final pure combustion V8 Ferrari is a masterpiece.

I love engines. Electric cars are incredible, but there’s something primal about how an internal combustion engine delivers performance. It doesn’t seamlessly accelerate like an electric car, but that’s not relevant – it’s about the journey to the performance that’s exciting. Gasoline engines achieve that emotional thrill in a way electric cars can’t. When it comes to engines, one manufacturer emphasizes them like no other, idolizing the engine above every other aspect of the car – and that, of course, is Ferrari.

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I adore Ferrari, I have since I was a kid. But the F8 Spider I recently drove left me totally bewildered. According to Ferrari, this is the final, non-hybrid member of the V8 sports car lineage, which makes it very special and historically relevant. Newer models (like the SF90) will be more powerful, but they will also be heavier and more complicated.


As a car enthusiast, I generally agree that you probably can’t ever have too much power; most would usually prefer too much over too little. However, even without hybrid power, the F8 really makes you ask, “Is this too much for the road? Am I actually enjoying this?” The conflicting feelings all begin with that engine.

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At the heart of the F8 lies Ferrari’s 3.9-liter F154GC twin-turbocharged V8, producing 710 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque. It propels the F8 Tributo to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds, with the Spider following right behind – really think about that for a moment. This standard production Ferrari can embarrass almost all of Ferrari’s past halo supercars, falling only .4 seconds short of the LaFerrari’s 0-to-60 mph time. F50 – not a chance. F40 – not even in the same league. Enzo – close, but no cigar. That is how insane the rate of progress has been for Ferrari.

The secret to this engine’s performance comes from its cooling. Ferrari raked the radiators at a more relaxed rearward angle compared to the 488 to avoid heat soaking into the intake, resulting in a 27-degree Fahrenheit (15-degree Celsius) change in air temperature of the air entering the plenum chamber. Coupled with Inconel headers, a revised intake system, and the intercoolers, the result is a dramatic increase in specific output over its predecessor. 

This article was produced as part of our editorial partnership with Cars & Bids, the online auction marketplace to buy and sell modern enthusiast cars. 

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