|(1989 to 1995)|
|Model years||1989–1995 (8,844 produced)|
|Body and chassis|
|Related||Ferrari Mondial t|
|Engine||3.4 L Tipo F119 V8|
|Wheelbase||2,450 mm (96.5 in)|
|Length||4,230 mm (167 in)|
|Width||1,894 mm (74.6 in)|
|Height||1,170 mm (46.1 in)|
|Curb weight||1,393 kg (3,071 lb) (TB, TS)
1,370 kg (3,020 lb) (GTS, GTB, Spider)
The Ferrari 348 (Type F119) is a mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive V8-powered 2-seat sports car by Ferrari S.p.A., replacing the 328 in 1989 and continuing until 1995.
348 tb, ts
The 348, badged 348 tb for the coupé (Trasversale Berlinetta) and 348 ts (Spider) for the targa versions, features a normally aspirated 3.4-litre version of the quad-cam, four-valve-per-cylinder V8 engine. As with its predecessors, the model number was derived from this configuration, with the first two digits being the displacement and the third being the number of cylinders. The engine, which produced 300 hp (224 kW), was mounted longitudinally and coupled to a transverse manual gearbox, like the Mondial t with which the 348 shared many components. This was a significant change for Ferrari, with most previous small Ferraris using a transverse engine with longitudinal transmission. The "T" in the model name 348 tb and ts refers to the transverse position of the gearbox. Overall, 2,895 examples of the 348 tb and 4,230 of the 348 ts were produced.
The 348's styling differed from previous models with straked side air intakes and rectangular taillights resembling the Testarossa. The F355 that replaced it returned to the styling cues of the 328 with round tail lights and rounded side air scoops. Fifty-seven "Challenge" models were built for owners who wanted a more "track-ready" car.
The 348 was fitted with dual-computer engine management using twin Bosch Motronic ECUs, double-redundant anti-lock brakes, and self-diagnosing air conditioning and heating systems. Late versions (1993 and beyond) have Japanese-made starter motors and Nippondenso power generators to improve reliability, as well as the battery located within the front left fender for better weight distribution.
U.S. spec 348's have OBD-I engine management systems, though European variants do not come with the self-test push button installed, which is needed to activate this troubleshooting feature.
Similar to the Testarossa but departing from the BB 512 and 308/328, the oil and coolant radiators were relocated from the nose to the sides, widening the waist of the car substantially, but making the cabin much easier to cool since hoses routing warm water no longer ran underneath the cabin as in the older front-radiator cars. This also had the side effect of making the doors very wide.
The 348 was equipped with a dry-sump oil system to prevent oil starvation at high speeds and during hard cornering. The oil level can only be accurately checked on the dipstick when the motor is running due to this setup. The 348 was fitted with adjustable ride-height suspension and a removable rear sub-frame to speed up the removal of the engine for maintenance.
This vehicle also served as a test mule for the Ferrari Enzo. Three of these were made.
348 Serie Speciale
Between 1992 and 1993 Ferrari made 100 units of 348 Serie Speciale of tb and ts versions. It was a limited edition only made for the US market.
The main technical modifications consisted in a revised engine which produced 312 bhp (229 kW) at 7,200 rpm, a wider rear track (50mm), a free flow exhaust system, a shorter ratio final drive and Pirelli P Zero tyres. Ferrari indicates a 0-60 mph time of 5.3 seconds and a standing ¼ mile of 13.75 seconds.
Several modifications were made to the body design as well: new front spoiler to optimize aerodynamics similar to the F40, new front grill with chrome prancing horse, bumpers and rocker panels in body color, engine cover in body color, modified taillight assembly and new rear grill with chrome prancing horse.
The cars were offered with F40 style sport seats in Connolly leather but the regular 348 seats could be specially ordered. The door panels were also modified and made of leather.
Each car is numbered (1 to 100), with a 348 Serie Speciale plate on the passenger's side door-post. In 1994, a further 15 units were produced, bringing the total production of this limited edition to 115.
The Ferrari Challenge was initiated by Ferrari Club Nederland and designated for the Ferrari 348; the series debuted in 1993 and included the Italian and European series. Using the un-modified engine, the only changes of car were slick tyres, better brake-pads, roll-bar, smaller battery in a different position and seat belts. The 348 Challenge carried all safety regulated kits but was supposed to be used on the road and driven to the events by their gentleman owners. In 1994 the G-spec engined cars had to be modified with the H-spec cylinder heads and injection. The car's final season was in 1995 and was replaced subsequently by the F355 Challenge.
348 GTB, GTS, Spider
In late 1993 the 348 was revised, featuring subtle styling changes (front grille, rear chrome Cavallino and removable seat cushions) and more power, this time producing 312 bhp (U.S) and 320 hp (Euro) from the same 3.4-litre engine, with an improved engine management system - Bosch Motronic 2.7, new exhaust system (single muffler).
The revised cars are called 348 GTB (252 made) and GTS (137 made) and were presented to the public as the 348 GT versions, equipped with the F119H engine (as opposed to the original F119D and US F119G). The F119H engine got a bump in compression ratio up to 10.8:1 vs the F119D & F119G 10.4:1 compression ratio, taller intake plenums, fuel pressure was raised from 3.4 bar to 3.8 bar, and different camshaft timing.
For these models, both the engine hood panel and lower body skirts were body-colored instead of black, and the rear track was one inch wider due to the mounting area, on the inside, of the rear wheels being thicker. The suspension geometry was revised which greatly enhanced its handling, ride and body control. The fuel tank was also smaller (88L) in order to reduce overall weight and provide space to improve chassis rigidity.
The 348 Spider (convertible) model was also introduced, in-line with the phasing out of the Mondial Cabriolet. 1,090 units were made of this style.
348 GT Competizione
In 1993 Ferrari presented a lightened, from 1370 kg dry weight of 348 GTB to 1180 kg / 2601 lb dry weight, 348 GT Competizione model designed for the GT Championship. Safety equipment was carried from the Challenge versions. Brakes system was derived from the F40 Evoluzione model. The cars also had changed suspension and exhaust systems. The engine had 320 hp. Around 50 were ever made, including 8 RHD. Special features included 3-part Speedline rims, and Kevlar seats for weight reduction. Furthering the weight reduction, Ferrari used carbon fibre for the bumpers and doors, removed the floor mats, and even removed the air conditiong. The final drive in the gear box was changed to 25/27 ratio to help with acceleration.
Between 1991 and 1992, a number of adventurous owners let Zagato extensively modify their 348 TBs into Zagato Elaboraziones. While the cars certainly looked faster than their stock counterparts, the engine and running gear remained identical to the 348 TB.
At the front of the car a new bumper removed the original’s fake central grille and also replaced its prancing horse. Each side was flanked with enlarged NACA ducts. At the rear Zagato fabricated a new engine cover with a clear glass section to reveal the V8 below, a new triple light arrangement and an electronically operated spoiler were added. Probably the only subtle modification made was the double bubble roof which was a signature Zagato touch. The idea was that Zagato could lower the roofline of a car, but retain enough headroom for each occupant. Other Elaborazione modifications included custom OZ Racing alloy wheels, external fuel filler caps and a completely reworked interior including a three-inch rear view screen and suede upholstery. Zagato initially announced a production run of 22 examples, but only 10 or 12 cars were made.