|2-door convertible, production car
|Miles Per Gallon:
|205 bhp @ 6600 rpm
|178 lb-ft @ 4600 rpm
|f: --.- / r: --.- in
|15.8 sec @ 91 mph
|Braking, 60-0 mph:
|Nürburgring Lap Time:
The 308 was Ferrari's first two-seat V8 road car. Made available to the public in 1975, it was the long awaited successor to the incomparable Dino 246 GT. The 308 series was a new beginning for the company as the premier builder of exotic sports cars for road use. As such, the 308 was designed to epitomize the sports car in its era. It did so admirably, and remains perhaps the most influential enthusiast car in history. The 308 is the car against which every subsequent sports car has been measured, upon which every Ferrari V8 sports and racing car has been based, and the car that brought Ferrari from the pinnacle of elite car-culture recognition into the minds of the general public. 25 years later, the shape and sound of the 308 is still "Ferrari" in the minds of many people.
The Ferrari 308 GTS provided Pininfarina with an opportunity to flex its design and styling muscle. The company responded by redefining the public's collective impression of what a Ferrari, and indeed what a sportscar, should look like. The task given Pininfarina was the creation of a two-seat mid-engined V8, and few can have expected the Turin designer to respond with such a tour de force.
The 308's shape bears a passing resemblance to Pininfarina's Dino 246 GT. Where the older car was the ultimate expression of curvaceous 1960's styling, the 308 hinted far more at the future. From its sharp nose incorporating a slim bumper and a deep air dam, to its retractable headlights and row of black louvres that vent air from the radiator, the line flows up the windshield and out around the flanks to reunite with itself at the buttress C-pillars, ending in a very subtle rear lip spoiler. The design is so beautiful and effective that it has been a basis for exterior styling of every subsequent V8 Ferrari and an object of study for design students the world over.
GTS models had louvered panels over the whole of their rear quarter windows. Increased venting front and rear served to improve cooling with each evolution of the engine. By and large, however, the design of the 308 was so iconic and effective that it was virtually unchanged throughout its decade of production.
The heart of the 308 series was its three litre V8 engine. The 2926cc Ferrari V8 was something of a departure for the company, which had mostly relied on V12s. With the V8, Ferrari could offer much of the power of their legendary V12s while improving fuel economy and saving space. By placing the engine and transmission transversely Ferrari was able to reduce the length of their new sports cars and concentrate the mass within the wheelbase, a lesson of racing.
The transmission in the 308 was a five speed with reverse all synchromesh unit. Mounted transversely like the engine, the transmission received power through an unassisted single plate clutch. The gears sent power to the rear wheels through a limited slip differential and solid driveshafts with constant velocity joints.