On its debut in 1989, the Ferrari 348 set the car world on fire and
soon became one of the most popular Ferrari model of all time.
Its stunning looks, superb build quality and exceptional preformance
made it a clear favorite among Ferrari enthusiasts worldwide.
Continuing a specialpartnership between Pininfarina and Ferrari that
had spanned over 30 years, the 348's body and interior were once
again created by this famous Turinese Styling House.
The outside was clearly influenced by the five year old Testarossa,
most obviously those straked engine cooling ducts and full width rear
grill covering the tail lights. The Ferrari 348 was in production for just
over five years between '89-'95. The early cars from'89'93 were built
in the coupe (TB) and targa (TS) version. In '93-'94 these models
were renamed GTB for coupe and GTS for the targa. The 348 Spider
was also introduced from '93 - '95, but more about the
Spider a bit later. By the end of the 348 line up in '95, around
10.200 units had been built.
A number of Limited Edition of the 348 were also made, these
were only meant for the US marked, Serie Speciale and the
GT Competizione, a factory homologation special.
The Ferrari 348 chassis was a fundamental departure from its
V8 predecessors, earlier 308 and 328 models having used tubular steel
chassis's the likes of which had been standard fare for many years.
Instead the 348 featured a pressed steel chassis with tubular engine
sub frame and was also the first Ferrari to universally comply with
global crash testing regulations.
The pressed steel chassis helps stiffen the car and the 348 is 50%
stiffer than its predesessors 308 and 328 models. Chassis flex is still
common with the 348, but not as noticeable. Another remarkable
efford from the team at Maranello.
Engine-wise, the mid-mounted location is a competition inspired layout.
The 348 had its dry sumped Tipo F119D 3.4 litre V8 engine
positioned longitudinally a'la Ferrari 288 GTO and their legendary
F40. This sits the engine lower in the cradle, lowering the center
of gravity, improving the handling and balance of the car.
The 90 degree V8 engine displacement was upped to 3405cc
thanks to a bore and stroke of 85x75mm respectively.
Output was also increased with 300 bhp at 7200rpm,
compression being set 10.4:1 and Bosch Motronic M2.5 fuel
injection controlling both cylinder banks.Late '90 saw the change
to the updated Bosch Motronic M2.7 fuel injection.
A transverse gearbox was mounted onto the rear of the engine.
Early 348 models had a twin plate clutch but these were replaced
to single plate in early '92.
This was done due to reability issues with the twin plate setup.
Preformance figures were impressive with 0 to 60 mph
(0 - 100 km/h) in just 5.5 seconds, and with a top speed rising
to over 175 mph - enough to keep Ferrari's juniorsupercar
crown away from Honda's NSX.
A stunning design, the 348 featured all-steel body panels except
for its aluminium bonnet and boot, GRP having been used for the
bumper penels front and back. Although the 348's interior iherited
a family recemblance to other Ferrari's of the priod, it was totally
new and plesantly understated design. The option list was
limited to metallic paint and a set of leather fitted luggage crafted
by the well-known Italian firm Schedoni. Given its debut at the
Frankfurt salon during of September '89 to much acclaim from the
press and public alike, orders for the 348's came flooding
in from dealers, enthusiasts and speculators from around the world.
Subsequently, a few minor variations were made during production,
these including different shock absorbers and mounting points,
relocated battery for revised weight distribution and the revised
fuel injector systems, Bosch Motronic M2.7.