When the Ferrari California T appeared in 2014 some people were truly horrified that Ferrari would build an engine with a turbo on it. Not sure why though, because it certainly wasn't the first time the Italian supercar manufacturer had employed that technology.
Ferrari started playing with forced induction as far back as 1981. Today we take a look at five turbocharged Ferraris.
The 126 C was not only Ferrari's first car of Formula 1's turbocharged era, it was also the company's first go at building a turbo engine.
Unreliability prevented it from being successful in its debut season in 1981, but the arrival of Harvey Postlethwaite at Ferrari before the 1982 season brought an overhaul that would see it take the Constructor's Championship in 1982 and 1983. Sadly, it was also the car that Gilles Villeneuve was killed in during qualifying at the Belgium Grand Prix in 1982.
208 GTB Turbo
A year after Ferrari's first turbo engine appeared in F1, its first turbo appeared in a road car, namely 1982's 208 GTB turbo. But rather than being introduced for performance advantages, it was introduced for tax advantages. The 208 was the 2.0-litre version of the 308 and featured one of the smallest V8 engines ever produced. It was also one of the slowest Ferraris ever built.
Ferrari built the 208 because cars with engines above 2.0-litres attracted a far higher tax rate than those under it in Italy at the time. They slapped a turbo on the tiny V8 to bump it up to 162kW (the standard engine produced just 114kW) in 1982 and replaced it with the more powerful and convincing 328-based GTB Turbo in 1986.
The 288 GTO was the homologation version of the 308 GTB and intended to race in the Group B Circuit Race series, but the series never fired, so Ferrari ended up building 270 homologation cars, but no actual racing cars.
The 288 GTO was powered by a longitudinally-mounted 2855cc twin-turbo V8, as opposed to the 308's transverse-mounted naturally aspirated 2926cc V8 and produced a staggering (for the time) 298kW of power and 496Nm of torque. It could rocket to 100kmh in just over five seconds and was the first ever production car to break 300kmh (top speed 304kmh).
In 1984 Ferrari started building five Evoluzione versions of the 288 GTO with 480kW of power and a total weight of just 940kg. They were intended to be the development cars for the cancelled Group B circuits series. When the series was cancelled, Ferrari was left with these cars, so what to do?
The most Ferrari-ish thing possible, of course - use them to develop the most powerful and unhinged road car the company had ever produced. The result was the mighty F40, the successor to the 288 GTO, a celebration of Ferrari's 40th anniversary and the last car personally approved by Enzo Ferrari.
With the F40's successor - the F50 from 1995 - switching to a naturally aspirated V12, Ferrari wouldn't dabble in turbo power until the California T from 2014. But it wasn't until the next year, when it jammed the California T's 3.9-litre twin turbo V8 into the replacement for the mid-engined 458 that things got properly serious again.
The 488 is essentially the 458 with Ferrari's F154 engine from the California pumped up to 493kW/760Nm. The winner of numerous Engine of the Year awards since it first appeared in 2014, the F154 also appears in the GTC4Lusso T and the California's replacement, the Portofino, as well as the Maserati Quattroporte GTS and with two less cylinders in the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio and Stelvio Quadrifoglio.