10 Of The Most Impressive V8 Ferraris Ever Built

For a long time Ferrari exclusively powered its sports cars with special 12-cylinder Colombo engines. The company was so committed to tom 12 cylinders, it intentionally kept the V6 and V8 engines it producted confined to Dino-branded sports cars. That all changed in 1975 with the introduction of the 308. The V8 engine now holds a special place in Ferrari's history, delivering some of the most astonishing sports cars the world has ever seen.

The V8 brought us smaller, lighter, and less expensive supercars, and Ferrari has become so good at building them that it has included the engine configuration in some of its flagship models, like the F40 and SF90 Stradale. Over the years, there's been a veritable sea of Prancing Horse V8s — we've seen natural-aspirated rev-hungry buzzers, torquey turbocharged monsters, and even hyper-powerful plug-in hybrids.

But which V8 Ferrari is the most impressive? Can you even make such a list? Well, there is no fault in trying, we guess. Besides, this list is subjective, so feel free to disagree. Still, it takes into account factors like historical significance, performance compared to other sports cars from the era, driving enjoyment, and how much the particular V8 Ferrari has pushed the performance envelope. So, here are 10 of the most impressive V8 Ferraris in Ferrari's history. Hope you enjoy this one!

10. 2023 Ferrari Portofino M

We start off this list with a controversial choice. The Portofino succeeds the California T, which was quite an underwhelming sports car, at least in the eyes of Ferrari Tifosi. Beautiful, sure, but without the usual drama you'd expect from a Ferrari supercar. The redesigned Portofino M improved on the GT convertible formula significantly, and it's probably the best grand-touring convertible currently available.

The Portofino M is as handsome as convertibles get. Ferrari designers managed to give it aggressiveness without spoiling the overall elegant silhouette, and making sure the car looks good with the top up or down. However, it's the flat-plane crankshaft 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8 sitting under that beautifully sculpted body that steals the show. It's good for 612 hp @7,500 rpm and a massive 561 lb-ft of torque @3,000 rpm, bringing the Portofino M to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds. The hyper-quick-shifting eight-speed dual-clutch automatic certainly aids with the acceleration time, but that's still impressive for an RWD sports car.

Worried about those turbochargers dampening the flat-plane V8 noise? That would be unfounded, as Ferrari completely redesigned the exhaust line compared to the regular Portofino, eliminating the two rear silencers for a better acoustic sensation. In addition, the Prancing Horse maximized the driving pleasure by implementing the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer, adding to the overall experience. As a result, this is one of the most fun to drive front-engine RWD Ferraris. Not as good as a mid-engine supercar, but impressive in its own right.

9. 1999 Ferrari F355 Serie Fiorano

The F355 was once the Ferrari you could dream of owning. By the turn of this century, a used F355 was attainable for more people than a typical Ferrari is today while having all the right ingredients. A sweet-sounding, naturally-aspirated 3.5-liter V8 with an 8,500 rpm redline and 375 hp and a gated manual (though a clunky paddle-shift was offered, too). However, that particular model, with the manual, is a high-priced commodity today, and that's before you start adding service costs — a costly engine-out service is required even to replace the timing belts. And that's all if you're not even looking for the best F355, the Serie Fiorano. 

Ferrari only made 104 examples of this amped-up model, and like its predecessor, the 348 GT Competizione, it did everything to remove weight from the supercar. Most of the Serie Fiorano editions were available with the F1-inspired paddle-shift gearbox, but that didn't change the fact that this was the finest F355 ever made and a true collector's item. Other notable upgrades included a handling package with a wider track and lower, stiffer springs, carbon-fiber interior, and improved brakes.

Essentially, the F355 Serie Fiorano is one of the last analog-feeling Ferraris, but one that feels familiar enough to today's drivers. It's a car you will experience with all your senses. And it will keep up with modern performance vehicles, too — the Serie Fiorano can hit 60 mph in 4.6 seconds and doesn't stop accelerating until it reaches 183 mph.

8. 1993 Ferrari 348 GT Competizione

The 348 is not the most fondly remembered mid-engine Ferrari — not even close, in fact. But if you close your eyes and imagine a classic Ferrari shape, it will probably look like the 348. The four fins in the side pods and pop-up headlights up front ooze coolness. The proportions are perfect, too. To add to its relevance, the 348 TB is the last V8 Ferrari developed under Enzo Ferrari, though he never got to see the finished product.

As much as the regular 348 TB (Berlinetta) and TS (Spider) have the quintessential Ferrari genes, it's the 348 GT Competizione model that grabs the spotlight. The Italian brand only made 50 examples of the ultimate version of this V8 supercar, making it one of the rarest Ferraris ever made. What made the 348 GT Competizione special is not its scarcity, though — the Ferrari's upgrades make it the ultimate road-going V8 supercar.

The name of the game here was lightness. The GT Competizione had carbon/Kevlar body panels, lightweight seats from the F40, no carpeting inside, drilled aluminum pedals, and larger but lighter 18-inch alloy wheels. The result is a staggering 419-pound weight reduction compared to the 348 GTB model, which was already lightweight at 3,071 pounds. As a result, the 320-hp 3.4-liter V8 provided a much quicker 0-62 acceleration time than the GTB's 5.4 seconds (Ferrari never published official figures). The cherry on top was the upgraded five-speed gated manual with rod linkage for more precise shifting action.

7. 2019 Ferrari 488 Pista

When Ferrari replaced the mythical 458 with the 488, fans weren't happy. For the first time in a mid-level supercar, Ferrari installed a turbocharged engine. The 288 GTO and F40 also had turbocharged V8s, but those were flagship products. But this also meant that Ferrari's compact mid-engine offering was more potent than ever, producing 661 hp and a whopping 560 lb-ft of torque.

However, that was Ferrari only getting into the swing of things. In 2019 it introduced the astonishing 488 Pista — a revved-up version with track-focused upgrades. The Pista replaced the 458 Speciale as the most aggressive V8 offering in its lineup, packing 711 hp and 567 lb-ft of torque. Aided by the lightning-quick shifts from the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, it propelled the 488 Pista to 60 mph in just 2.7 seconds. The higher power was due to the new air intake positioned near the rear spoiler, ensuring a higher volume of cleaner air and the possibility of a larger intercooler.

However, Ferrari's engineers were busy improving other aspects of the car. The 488 Pista is a tour-de-force in aerodynamics, providing exceptional high-speed stability while keeping the streamlined looks. Ferrari also implemented many weight-saving measures, resulting in 198 pounds less weight than the regular 488, while the latest Side Slip Control System (SSC 6.0) ensured impeccable driving dynamics. As a result, the 488 Pista is one of the wildest V8 Ferrari supercars ever made, though its turbocharged V8 lost some of the acoustic sensation of its predecessors.

6. 2020 Ferrari SF90 Stradale Assetto Fiorano

With nearly 1,000 hp, the SF90 Stradale is a new breed of Prancing Horse. It's sort of a hypercar like the La Ferrari, Enzo, F50, and F40, but it's still not the brand's flagship. And while it has a V8 engine like the 488 and 458, the hybrid setup makes it a more potent car — much more, in fact. With three electric motors inside that beautiful body, one connected to the transmission and the other two reserved for each of the front wheels, it's a supercar that pushes a new boundary in Ferrari's V8 lineage. That would be the first Ferrari with electrically driven front wheels, actually.

Oh, and the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 itself is quite special, producing a staggering 769 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. Together with the electrons, it produces a shocking 986 hp, making it more powerful than the V12 La Ferrari hypercar. Furthermore, the transaxle electric motor connected to the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission deletes the turbo lag, while the front motors provide true torque vectoring. Accordingly, the SF90 Stradale is the fastest-accelerating Ferrari ever, with a 0-60 mph time of 2.1 seconds.

When you pair the powertrain with the Assetto Fiorano package, you get a lighter titanium exhaust system, carbon-fiber body panels, and wheels, resulting in 66 pounds of weight reduction. Meanwhile, the Multimatic shocks with titanium springs and a larger rear spoiler give it a tremendous cornering grip. As a result, it's one of the most capable road cars ever and one that's incredibly easy to drive fast. A true new-age supercar.

5. 2003 Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale

With the 360 Modena, Ferrari finally moved on from the pop-up headlights. It wasn't shocking, considering that they were not pedestrian-friendly, but it made for a tamer front end. However, the 360 Modena was an elegantly styled supercar with beautiful proportions, and its design has stood the test of time.

You know what was also proven timeless? The gated six-speed manual, which makes the 360 CS one of the most modern V8 Ferraris you can get with a stick-shift. Its 3.6-liter V8 under the bonnet is also no slouch. With 400 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque, it propels the 360 Modena to 62 mph in 4.5 seconds and up to 183 mph. However, while the gated manual is fun to use, the paddle-shift-only 360 Challenge Stradale is the ultimate version of this generation.

Notably, Ferrari equipped the electro-hydraulic transmission with Launch Control, lowering the 0-62 mph time to 4.1 seconds. The Challenge Stradale also had the engine reworked to produce 425 hp @8,500 rpm, so it was closer to Ferrari's racing engines. Crucially, weight reduction resulted in a 2,600-pound dry weight, incredibly low for a V8-powered supercar.

The 360 CS also had carbon composite discs for better braking, front and rear titanium springs that lowered the supercar by 15 milimeters, and a wider roll bar for tighter handling. Meanwhile, the 50% higher downforce ensured much better highway stability. As a result, this is one of the most tactile, raw, and sonorous experiences you can get in a V8 Ferrari.

4. 1984 Ferrari 288 GTO

The Ferrari 288 GTO will give you one of the most unhinged driving experiences, with sensations that far exceed almost any other car. It was far ahead of its time in terms of performance, thanks in no small part to the addition of two turbochargers. It was meant to compete in the Group B rally championship, so big power was part of the equation. 

Unfortunately, the FIA canceled Group B racing before the 288 GTO got its chance, but Ferrari made 272 road-going models. And we are glad it did because the 288 GTO is a riot. Behind the driver, it has a 2.8-liter twin-turbo V8 producing 388 hp @7,000 rpm and a massive 366 lb-ft of torque @3,800 rpm. Ferrari equipped it with a five-speed manual and made sure it was light, tipping the scales at 2,560 pounds dry. These figures created one of the fastest supercars of the era — the 288 GTO sprinted to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, reaching 189 mph.

Although loosely based on the 308 GTB, the 288 GTO was a much wilder sports car to drive. Part of its charm was the engine, which, once on boost, propelled forward like a slingshot. It sounds angry, too, making us wonder what modern turbocharged engines are lacking. And this all says nothing about the looks — the 288 GTO is one of the most handsome Ferraris, which is probably part of the reason it costs nearly $4 million on average today. Yikes!

3. 2008 Ferrari 430 Scuderia

The F430 is all but forgotten today, chiefly due to its successor the 458 Italia being better in almost every aspect. But isn't that the role of any successor? Really, comparing the F430 to the 458 Italia is a fool's errand. However, in isolation the F430 is one of the finest V8 Ferraris ever made, and that's even more true for the 430 Scuderia, the special track-focused version developed with direct input from Michael Schumacher.

The 430 Scuderia is no joke, even compared to modern supercars. In the middle, it has a 4.3-liter naturally-aspirated V8, producing a whopping 503 hp and 347 lb-ft of torque. With a redline @8,640 rpm, the flat-plane crank V8 sounds like a dream, too. Meanwhile, its F1 six-speed automated manual shifts gears in only 60 ms. The performance numbers are no less impressive — 0-62 mph in 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 198 mph.

Schumi's holistic involvement resulted in a supercar that was also fantastic to drive in the corners, too. The 430 Scuderia received significant weight-reduction measures, leading to a reduction of 220 pounds. The E-DIFF 2 electronic differential and F1-Trac system ensured 40% higher acceleration out of a corner. Another stand-out feature was the Skyhook adaptive dampers, which could give you a smooth ride on the road while keeping the 430 Scuderia steady on the track. So, don't overlook this one, folks!

2. 2013 Ferrari 458 Speciale

While the world was in awe of Ferrari's latest hypercar, the LaFerrari, the Italian brand quietly introduced the 458 Speciale. At first, it was seen as a mere amped-up version of the regular 458 Italia, but it ended up being one of the finest Italian supercars. From its high-revving, naturally-aspirated V8 masterpiece to the lightweight and balanced chassis, the 458 Speciale has emerged as one of the best driver's cars in automotive history.

An overstatement, maybe? In its defense, the 458 Speciale has no turbos and no electric motors, yet in other areas, it is super-advanced. Take the lightning-quick seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox as an example. Or the many acronyms to help you stay on the desired line as well, like F1-TRAC, E-DIFF, SCC, and FRD SCM-E. Meanwhile, the 4.5-liter engine is one of the best naturally-aspirated V8s, producing 597 hp at astronomical @9,000 rpm. It's so good that Chevrolet used it as a benchmark for the 2023 Corvette Z06, which has one of the best-sounding engines currently on sale.

Furthermore, the 458 Speciale is almost as quick as a modern supercar, reaching 62 mph in 3 seconds and 202-plus mph. More than that, it is magnificent to drive. Thanks to the 198-pound weight reduction over the Italia, it reacts to the driver's inputs almost telepathically. The engine and gearbox are also immediate, and the whole car communicates with the driver on a deeper level. Oh, and Speciale's V8 might even sound better than the Z06's!

1. 1987 Ferrari F40

Ask Ferrari fans which car the brand reached its pinnacle with, and most will probably say the F40. And we are not only talking about V8 Ferraris here. The F40 launched the four-wheel vehicle into the stratosphere, providing performance and sheer driving involvement that were simply not possible before. Despite its twin-turbo 2.9-liter V8 not sounding as exotic as V12 Ferraris of the past, the F40 is a feast for the senses that will probably never be outdone.

There are no carpets and almost no insulation, so the engine's roar will pierce through your ears, exactly like a race car. You will feel everything from the road, too. The steering is also communicative, while the five-speed gated shifter lets you feel the mechanical parts inside the gearbox. You will get sweaty driving the F40, that's for sure, despite it tipping the scales at only 2,425 pounds dry.

That low weight made the F40 drive like a go-kart, but with the power of an F1 car. Its advanced chassis and aerodynamics (for the time) also gave it stability at higher speeds that was in a league of its own. The straight-line performance was bonkers, too, courtesy of the twin-turbo powerhouse producing 471 hp @7,000 rpm and 426 lb-ft of torque @4,000 rpm. So, despite having a dogleg manual, the F40 sprints to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and reaches 201 mph. Remarkable figures for a supercar of the 1980s!