Supertuxkart 0.8.2 and higher feature a custom engine called Antarctica. The main feature of Antarctica is a new renderer which currently supports OpenGL 3.1.
The engine is based on a heavily modified version of irrlicht. If you want more technical information about the engine you should read this.
All lights are dynamic. Artists can place an arbitrary number of them. There is no "hard limit" however for performance the engine use only the 8, 16 or 32 closest lights to the player + the sun.
All lights can be animated if needed.
Exponential Shadow Maps
The sun cast automatically real time shadows to add more realism to the scene. You don't need precomputed lightmaps anymore.
Realtime ambient occlusion
Ambient occlusion is a shading technique to add darkness where objects and surface are close together, like cracks or corners.
Depth of field and Bokeh
When objects and lights are out of focus they are slightly blurred. Light sources appear as little dots like in real camera when a strong light source is out of focus. More information about bokeh.
Bloom & lens flare
Global illumination & Image based lighting
The surrounding environment will affect itself. Global illumination will simulate light bouncing on surfaces and the sky texture is used to make the ambient light.
New solid material
Solid objects have a new generic material that support Normal mapping, Specular map, Emit map and much more. You can easily make a glossy surface or a metallic object.
Volumetric Real time lights
If fog is enabled in the scene, it is lit by light sources. It allows you to give more depth to your scene.
WARNING: Currently (SuperTuxKart 0.9.2) only point lights are supported. Cones still use the old billboard trick. However it's planned to support them later.