The Ferrari 360 Modena Sports Car

The Ferrari 360 Modena – A close look at this classic sports car’s performance, technical data, features, comparing rivals, history, used prices.

From Classic to Modern:

THE CAR

The 360 Modena sports car was introduced by Ferrari in 1999, and named the car after the town in which the company’s founder was born.

With a launch price of $140,000, the 360 replaced the successful 355 Series, and consisted of the two seater Modena Berlinetta coupe, the Spider convertible, and the Challenge variant.

Unlike the 355 which was fitted with a steel chassis, the 360 featured a new, slightly larger, aluminium space frame chassis, which benefited from the fact that it was up to 40% stronger, and yet was still some 100 kg, or 25%, lighter.

With styling once again in the hands of Pininfarina, there was a move towards softer lines, and included the removal of the pop-up headlights, whose demise was signalled in the 355.

The cabin of the 360 was much more spacious than that in the 355 Series owing to the increased dimensions of the aluminium chassis, and the interior was fitted with leather trim.

Amongst the optional extras were carbon fibre seats, and a racing exhaust system.

In terms of fuel consumption, it registered 13 mpg in the city and 19 mph on the highway.

The body panels were made from aluminium, and it used vacuum assisted 13 inch vented disc brakes all round and linked to ABS, plus coil spring four wheel independent suspension.

Air from the front ducts flowed below the under-tray to the two diffusers at the rear, and this produced a down force which gradually increased as the car accelerated. In this way, road holding was radically improved.

Dry sump lubrication was retained, as was a five bearing crankshaft, ASR traction control, and limited slip differential.

The dampers had their own electronic control unit to manage vertical or horizontal movement in the car.

By the time production ended in 2005, a total of 8,800 units of the Ferrari Modena sports car had been built.

THE ENGINE

Each of the 360 Series sports cars shared the same larger 3.6 litre, DOHC, mid-engined, rear wheel drive, V8 unit, with five valves per cylinder which, like the 355, utilised lightweight internal components, such as titanium con rods.

It was fitted with a flat-plane crankshaft to prevent uneven firing and timing issues experienced when using a cross-plane unit.

It developed 395 bhp at the redline of 8500 rpm, and 275 ft/lbs of torque at 4750 rpm, the majority of which was available around 3000 rpm.

The compression ratio remained at 11:1, it continued to use electronic fuel ignition, and was fitted with the latest Bosch ME 7.3 engine management system.

Linked to a six speed, all synchromesh, manual gearbox, or the optional F1-style paddle gear shift unit, it produced a top speed of 189 mph, and a 0-60 mph time of 4.2 secs.

The optional system had two paddles behind the steering wheel such that the right paddle changed up a gear, whist the left one changed down, with each gear change taking a mere 150 milliseconds.

With no clutch pedal, the electronic control unit in the gearbox managed the gear changes when matched to the engine revs.

COMPETITION

Typical competition for the Ferrari 360 Modena sports car included the following: Porsche 996 GT2, Aston Martin V12 Vanquish, and TVR Tuscan S. Ferrari performance:

SPORTS CARS FOR SALE

On the second hand market, a Ferrari 360 Modena, in good condition, would sell for around $60,000, whilst an immaculate example would command around around $100,000.

One of the classic cars from Ferrari.

This marks the end of my Review of the Ferrari 360 Modena sports car

The Ferrari 360 GT Sports Car

The Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale – A close look at this classic sports car’s performance, technical data, features, comparing rivals, history, used prices

from Classic to Modern

THE CAR

The Ferrari Challenge sports car and single marque race Series was first established in 1993, and was aimed specifically at amateur drivers.

The first car produced with this Series in mind was the 348 Challenge racer of 1994.

With the introduction of the 355 Series that same year, the 355 Challenge sports car was launched in 1996 to build upon the success of the 348 Challenge variant.

Finally, in 1999, the 360 Challenge Stradale took the original concept of the Ferrari Challenge to the final level for a road-going day racer.

Following continued demand for these racers, Michelotto was asked by Ferrari to design a GT version of the 360 Modena, that complied with all the race regulations, in order that it would be eligible for entry in endurance races.

Since the 360 Challenge cars were built in numbers that exceeded the minimum required for homologation (entitlement to race), then it would be used as the basis for the new GT racer.

Between 2001 and 2003, a total of sixteen of the 360 Challenge cars were modified and converted into the 360 GT sports car, as it was now designated.

Furthermore, between 2002 and 2003, some twenty of the 360 GT’s were built from scratch as true racers by Ferrari, in collaboration with Michelotto.

In 2001 and 2003, the JMB Giesse team raced the Ferrari 360 GT with distinction in that season’s FIA GT Championship, and won several events.

Unfortunately, the car was unable to overcome competition from the likes of Porsche from securing a class win in the ultimate endurance race, the Le Mans 24 Hours.

However, following these successes, Ferrari decided that, from 2002, the 360 GT would be produced for sale to their customers.

These sports car racers closely resembled the versions used by JMB Giesse, and included a cooling duct at the front, wider wings all round, and a larger, modified rear wing.

Apart from stronger springs and shock absorbers, and an adjustable anti-roll bar, the suspension was unchanged from that used in the 360 Modena.

Like the 360 Challenge Stradale, the interior was reduced to the absolute minimum, a roll cage was added, and instrumentation was in the form of a digital display.

In the end, the weight of the 360 GT was reduced by over 250 kg to 1100 kg by the extensive use of Kevlar in the body panels, which meant that it was even lighter than the Challenge variant.

THE ENGINE

The 3.6 litre, V8 engine with five valves per cylinder, developed 430 bhp at 8500 rpm, and 279 ft/lbs of torque at 5000 rpm.

It was fitted with high lift camshafts, pistons made from lightweight material, and redesigned combustion chambers.

In order to conform with the FIA regulations, it was fitted with two 30.8 mm intake limiters which dramatically reduced its capacity to breathe.

With a compression ratio of 11.2:1, and fitted with a six speed F1-style paddle shift gearbox, it produced a top speed of 180 mph, with a 0-60 mph time of 3.6 secs.

It used the same electronic control unit as in the 360 Challenge variant, had larger vented disc brakes with modified cooling ducts, and wider rims.

COMPETITION

Typical competitors of the Ferrari 360 GT included the following: Porsche 996 Turbo, and Dodge Viper SRT-10. Ferrari performance:

SPORTS CARS FOR SALE

Originally priced at $390,000, a Ferrari 360 GT in excellent condition was placed at auction for nearly $130,000.

Another of the classic cars from Ferrari.

This marks the end of my Review of the Ferrari 360 GT sports car

The Ferrari 355 Challenge Sports Car

The Ferrari 355 Challenge – A close look at this classic sports car’s performance, technical data, features, comparing rivals, history, used prices.

From Classic to Modern:

THE CAR

The Ferrari 348 Challenge sports car was a race Series for amateur drivers, first established in 1993.

Ferrari offered an optional Challenge kit priced at $14,000 and, by using it, the original 348 could be transformed into the race version in the order of 60 man hours.

The 3.4 litre, V8 engine used in the Challenge Series, when converted, would develop an output of 320 bhp.

The 348 Challenge car’s last season was in 1995, which coincided with the launch of the 355 Challenge variant.

The Ferrari 355 Challenge car consisted of a basic 355 Berlinetta 3.5 litre coupe that had been modified using a Challenge kit costing $30,000, and supplied by Ferrari.

These kits first became available in 1996, and the conversion required 110 man hours to fully install. The early cars came with the roll cage mounting points already fitted by the factory.

Some of the components included in the Challenge kit included:

  • Racing – clutch, springs, slick tyres, steering wheel, and seats
  • Roll cage
  • Safety harness
  • Carbon fibre rear wing
  • Uprated 14 inch lightweight Brembo composite disc brakes with cooling ducts
  • 18 inch Speedline wheels
  • Safety engine cut-off switch
  • Lightweight exhaust system and front bumper
  • Modified steering rack

Between 1996 and 1997, the 355 Challenge cars came factory fitted with a steady increase in race parts until, in 1998, the final evolution variant was available as an almost complete factory assembled race car. However, some parts still needed to be added, such as the wings.

A total of 108 of the 355 Challenge cars were built, and fitted with six speed gearboxes, together with a plaque at the rear denoting “355 Challenge”.

A small number of right hand drive variants were exported to the UK where they were further modified into race trim.

It has been suggested that a handful of these cars have subsequently been converted into road-going variants.

COMPETITION

Typical competition for the Ferrari 355 Challenge were the following: Porsche 996 GT3, Nissan R390 GTI, and TVR Cerbera. Ferrari performance:

SPORTS CARS FOR SALE

Since a Ferrari 355 Challenge car is not easy to find, this will be reflected in the price. An excellent example would sell at auction within the range $70,000 to $90,000.

This is another of the classic cars from Ferrari.

This marks the end of my Review of the Ferrari 355 Challenge sports car.