There’s no doubt that the 3-litre to 4-litre category has become one of the most fascinating divisions in the International Engine of the Year Awards, what with it being home to an embarrassment of IC engine riches from the likes of Porsche, Audi/Bentley, Nissan, Maserati, Mercedes-AMG, McLaren and, of course, Ferrari, with its new turbo fighter in the 488.
Such tough and truly scintillating competition meant that many thought this was going to be one of the closest-fought races at the 2016 International Engine of the Year Awards, especially as fierce F1 rivals Mercedes-AMG, Ferrari and McLaren were pitted against each other. And making things all the more interesting was that with its highly flexible M838T powertrain, McLaren, for the past three years, has remained undefeated in this category.
But not only did McLaren’s hugely impressive winning run come to an end in 2016, but the race to secure top spot in this category wasn’t even close, with Ferrari wrapping things up with 14 judges still to cast their votes and finishing 189 points better off than second place AMG’s 4-litre biturbo screamer. In what will be a huge disappointment to all those engineers in Woking, UK, McLaren and its V8 could only muster 122 points and a fifth place finish, behind two Porsche runners.
Armed with an array of technical measures, the twin-turbocharged, 3,902cc creation from the Prancing Horse boasts new high-tumble intake ports specially shaped to optimise the flow coefficient and swirl motion in the combustion chamber for a homogeneous charge even at high revs, all of which is combined with 200-bar direct fuel injection.
And such high-end innovation with exhilarating performance meant the new eight-cylinder won votes from numerous jury members. Gabor Szecsenyi from Az Auto was one of many judges taken by the V8: “This is elegantly turboed Italian fine machinery with the spice of lightness and art.”