What Type of Fuel is Used in a Ferrari?

Ferrari 488 Pista on a wooded road

Ferraris are finely tuned supercars and hypercars in which every detail contributes to performance and function of the whole. Naturally, the fuel that powers you Prancing Horse is crucial — but what type of fuel is used in Ferrari cars, ideally? The answer is: premium fuel, ideally without ethanol.


Why Premium Fuel is Necessary in a Ferrari

You should never put regular fuel in your Ferrari — regular, low-octane fuel might be great for a family sedan or SUV, but it can cause knocking in a Ferrari. The fact is that regular gasoline actually combusts easier than its premium counterpart, meaning that it’s more likely pre-ignite, or combust through compression alone, which can cause problems in a Ferrari. 

More common vehicles like family sedans are engineered to work with lower-octane fuels, because those vehicles are equipped with technology to prevent pre-ignition from occurring. There’s always a catch, though: the technology that prevents pre-ignition with low-octane fuel also limits the vehicle’s performance. This would obviously be a problem for any Ferrari.

The reason that the type of fuel used in Ferraris should be high-octane, premium fuel is simple: Ferraris are performance-oriented machines, and high-octane gasoline is a performance-oriented fuel. Ferraris are designed with every detail in mind, and their engines are created with the expectation that they will be powered by premium gasoline.

Using regular, low-octane gasoline in a Ferrari will lead to pre-ignition issues, which will typically manifest in the form of engine knock. This may seem benign, but each pre-ignition sends an unexpected shockwave through the vehicle’s engine, which can cause significant damage over time. As such, it’s important to follow the fuel guidelines in your car’s owner’s manual. Not doing so will almost certainly guarantee that you’ll need to visit a Ferrari service center!


Why Fuel Without Ethanol is Ideal for Your Ferrari

As it is with octane ratings, so it is with the composition of your fuel: a Ferrari is built with very specific designs and thus has very specific needs, and those needs include gasoline without ethanol (alcohol) to maximize the car’s performance and longevity.

Ethanol-free gasoline can be difficult to find in the United States in part because of environmental regulations mandating its use. For this reason, it’s worth seeking out gas stations with ethanol-free gas to ensure that your Prancing Horse runs as it should. 

 
Ferrari FF taking a turn

Learn More With Continental AutoSports

Now that you know the fuel type you should use in a Ferrari, perhaps it’s time to buy a Prancing Horse of your own. If you already own one and it’s in need of maintenance or repairs, you can schedule service at Continental AutoSports. Whether you’re in St. Louis, Indianapolis, or elsewhere in the US, we’re here to help with the full range of your Ferrari needs from our home in the Chicago area. Contact Continental AutoSports today to get started!


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