The Coolest 'Hot Vee' Turbo Engines

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Mercedes is making a bit of a fuss about its new 4.0 liter twin-turbo V8 that relaxes under the spacious hood of the new AMG GT. They point out that the turbos are nestled between the V8's cylinder banks, a 'hot vee.' Merc is far from the first to try this layout.

There are tons of 'hot vee' turbo engines out there, but my favorite has to be Ferrari's first turbo F1 engine, which went into the 126 series of cars.


It debuted in '81 and raced through '84, a little 1.5 liter V6 with twin KKK turbochargers mounted in the wide 120 degree vee.


Any carmaker today will point out that a hot vee reduces turbo lag (BMW loved to tout this, as I recall), but the Ferrari 126 engine was notorious for having huge amounts of lag. That delay in power did come with big performance gains — the Ferrari was as powerful as any of its rivals. It started with 650/600 horsepower in qualifying and race trims, respectively. By '83 the engine supposedly rose to 800/650, at least if Wikipedia is to be believed.


What's your favorite hot vee engine? I know there are some CART fans who should have some good answers.

Photo Credits: Ferrari