Ferrari 208 GTB Turbo, the first road Ferrari equipped with supercharging

The Ferrari 208 belongs to the same family as the 308, with which it basically shares aesthetics and mechanics.

The first 208 models, which are distinguished in the 208 GTB version (coupé version) and in the 208 GTS (version with removable roof), officially went into production in 1980 and were specifically designed to address two problems of this era: the oil crisis of the the 1970s, so much so that the Ferrari 208 was designed and studied precisely to reduce consumption and pollution compared to the 3000 cubic centimeter version, and the Italian financial recession of the same period, with the aim of avoiding the heavy taxation imposed on engines of over 2000 cubic centimeters.

The end result is a car similar in many respects to the 308, but compared to the latter it does not have a 2.926 cubic centimeter naturally aspirated V8 engine, but a 1991 cubic centimeter V8 taken from the Dino 208 GT4.

Two years later Ferrari will launch an advanced version of the 208 on the market, presenting it with the name 208 GTB Turbo, which presents a novelty taken directly from Formula 1: an engine equipped with supercharging and mechanical injection.

In this historical period, Formula 1 is going through the era of turbo-compressed engines, so in 1982 Ferrari decided to transfer an engine of this kind to the 208 GTB model, offering this prototype on the Italian market. This solution is introduced in the field of road cars with the aim of equalizing the difference in horsepower between the two-liter engine and the 3000 cubic centimeter one, without increasing the tax burden on the customer. The data collected on the circuits are then transferred to the 208 GTB Turbo, officially presented at the 1982 Turin Motor Show.

The 2.000 cubic centimeter V8 therefore becomes the subject of a considerable injection of power, radically transforming the character of the car, which is now capable of providing lightning-fast acceleration hitherto unthinkable on cars of this displacement: compared to the 208 launched in 1980, the 208 Turbo can boast a top speed of 242 km/h, twenty-seven more than the model produced by the Cavallino in 1980.

As happened two years earlier, the 208 Turbo was presented not only in GTB version, but also in GTS version, precisely in 1983, one year later than the coupé model: with the exception of the removable roof in the targa version, the two examples are completely identical.

The aesthetic innovations presented on the bodywork designed by Pininfarina are limited to a few additional details, such as the rather deep front spoiler, equipped with five air intakes for cooling intended for the area below the radiator grille.

The satin black air vents are inserted on the front bonnet of the 208 GTB Turbo: the supercharging of the engine caused an increase in operating temperatures, and for this reason it became essential to increase the amount of air flow that affected the radiator.

On the lower part of the sides, just in front of the rear fenders, there was a NACA-type air intake (an air intake developed by NASA with the intention of generating low aerodynamic drag).

Furthermore, a rear spoiler is placed in the terminal part of the roof, astride the buttresses descending towards the fenders of the car, on the rear panel it is decided to add the word Turbo, and the pair of twin exhausts does not have the protective cover on the two pipes terminals.

Pirelli P7 tires with sixteen-inch rims are available upon customer request as an alternative to the standard Michelin TRXs.

The interior of the 208 GTB Turbo, as well as the exterior section, was virtually identical to that of the larger 308 GTB model.

The model is presented with a pair of leather-covered sports seats, while all the main instruments are contained in an eyelid assembly located just in front of the driver, who has a three-spoke steering wheel finished in leather at his disposal. . The clock and the oil thermometer are mounted in a separate panel, located in the lower left part of the dashboard.

The sector gear lever is mounted on the driver's side on the central tunnel, in the same area where there are various switches, the ashtray and the handbrake.

The 208 GTB models are equipped with a tubular frame with internal reference number F106 DB 100. Disc brakes, independent suspension with wishbones, coil springs and hydraulic shock absorbers are featured on all four tires, as well as front and rear anti-roll bar.

All prototypes are numbered with the odd number sequence typical of road Ferraris, and the model is released only with left-hand drive. Production began in 1982 and ended in 1985. A total of four hundred and thirty-seven copies will be made, with chassis numbers from 41.357 to 59.277.

The transversely mounted aluminum V8 engine derives essentially from the same design used in the 308 GTB models, and is a 90° V-configuration power unit with double overhead camshafts per bank of cylinders and moved camshafts by a toothed belt.

The total displacement is 1,991 cubic centimeters, with bore and stroke equal to 66.8 by 71 millimeters, compression ratio of 7: 1, and internal reference code F 106 D 000.

The drive unit contains in a single block the five-speed synchronized gearbox, located in the lower part behind the engine oil pan. The engine is equipped with a KKK turbocharger driven by exhaust gases and equipped with a waste gate valve, Bosch K Jetronic fuel injection and Marelli MED 804A electronic ignition.

Engine power reaches 220 horsepower at 7,000 rpm.


Berlinetta, two seats

Length 4230 mm

Width 1720 mm

Height 1120 mm

Wheelbase 2340 mm

Front track 1460 mm

Rear track 1460 mm

Weight 1232 kg when empty


Rear engine, transverse, 8V 90°

Bore and stroke 66.8x71 mm

Unit displacement 248.83 cm³

Total displacement 1990.64 cm³

Compression ratio 7:1

Maximum power 162 kW (220 hp) at 7000 rpm

Specific power 111 hp/liter

Maximum torque 240 Nm (24.5 kgm) at 4800 rpm

Double shaft distribution, two valves per cylinder

Powered by a turbocharger and Bosch K-Jetronic injection

Mono ignition, electronic

Wet sump

Single plate clutch


Tubular steel

Independent front suspension, wishbones, coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers, stabilizer bar

Independent rear suspension, transverse wishbones, coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers, stabilizer bar

Disk brakes

Five-speed gearbox + RM

Steering with rack and pinion

Fuel tank capacity 74 liters

205/55 VR 16 front tires

225/50 VR 16 rear tires


Top speed 242 km/h

Simone Pietro Zazza