Ferrari 288 GTO’s mid mounted engine was a 90 degree V8 unit fitted longitudinally, with the forward end so close to the cabin bulkhead to optimise weight distribution, that a service hatch was provided in the bulkhead for maintenance. This was the first longitudinally mounted V8 engine fitted in a Ferrari production road car, and also the first to be fitted with twin turbochargers. The total cubic capacity was 2855cc, with a 80mm x 71mm bore and stroke, a compression ratio of 7.6:1, and factory type reference F 114 B 000. It had four valves per cylinder, twin overhead camshafts per bank, each with its own toothed drive belt, dry sump lubrication, with twin IHI turbochargers feeding intake air via a pair of Behr intercoolers at 0.8 bar, coupled to a Weber-Marelli IAW combined ignition/fuel injection system, to provide a claimed power output of 400 bhp at 7000rpm.
The Ferrari 288 GTO was introduced at the 1984 Geneva Motor Show. The official model designation was solely Ferrari GTO, although most people refer to it as the Ferrari 288 GTO to differentiate it from the legendary 250 GTO from the early sixties, which is often referred to as the GTO. The 288 appellation refers to the total cubic capacity of the engine and number of cylinders, 2.8 litres with 8 cylinders. The GTO captured the buyer’s imagination, although visually it was nothing startlingly different from the mainstream Ferrari eight cylinder models of the period, looking like a 308 that had been on a course of steroids, with more bulbous wheel arches, a lower stance and bigger spoilers. However, the revisions gave it a more aggressive appearance, and under the skin there was muscle enough to pack a powerful punch, complimenting the brawny exterior.