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The Ferrari 348 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.

Overview

The 348, badged 348 TB for the coupe (Berlinetta) and 348 TS (Spider) for the targa versions, features a naturally aspirated 3.4 litre version of the quad-cam, 4-valve per cylinder V8 engine which was originally found in the 288 GTO sports car. Thus the model name, 3.4 litre 8 cylinder engine. The engine produced 300 hp (224 kW) at launch and sits longitudinally with a transverse gearbox, like the Mondial t with which the 348 shares many components. This was a major switch for Ferrari, with most previous small Ferraris using a transverse engine with longitudinal transmission. The transverse gearbox gives the model its "T" on TS and TB.

All 348s were shipped with dual-computer engine management with twin Bosch 2.5 Motronic ECUs, and double-redundant Anti-Lock Braking systems.

Likewise, all 348s were shipped with on-board self-diagnosing Air Conditioning and heating systems.

U.S. 348s have functioning on-board OBDI 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.

All Ferrari 348s use racing "dry-sump" oil systems to prevent oil starvation at high speeds and in hard corners. The oil level can only be checked (accurately) on the dip-stick when the motor is running due to this setup.

Likewise, all 348s have suspensions independently adjustable for ride height, as well as a removable rear sub-frame to speed up the removal of the engine for maintenance.

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.

Nearly 9,000 348s were produced, and the car's straked side air intakes resemble those of the Testarossa, as do the rectangular tail lights. The 348's successor, the F355, returned to the styling cues of the 328 with round tail lights and rounded side air scoops. Also, 57 "Challenge" models were made for owners who wanted a more "track-ready" car.

This vehicle also served as a test mule for the Ferrari Enzo. Three of these were made.

1993 changes

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, increased compression ratio from 10.4:1 to 10.8:1, higher plenum chamber on inlet manifold, new exhaust system (single muffler) and different camshaft timing.

The revised cars are called 348 GTB (222 made) and GTS (218 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).

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.

For 1994 only, Ferrari also made 360 hp (268 kW) to 500 hp (370 kW) 348 Competizione race models (some sold in Europe for the street, too) in conjunction with the Michelotto performance house. These 348 GTCs (or GT Competiziones) had kevlar front and rear bumpers, kevlar seats, kevlar door panels, whilst the Le Mans race models used F40 half-shafts.


Specifications

[edit] TB and TSEdit

  • Engine: DOHC, 32 Valve V8, 3405 cc
  • Power: 300 bhp (224 kW) @ 7200 rpm
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual
  • Chassis: Steel platform & sub-frame
  • Suspension: Independent all round
  • Brakes: 4 wheel Disk ABS
  • Max. Speed: 275 km/h (171+ mph)
  • Acceleration:
    • 0–100 km/h (62 mph): 5.4 s (as stated in owners manual)
    • 0–161 km/h (100 mph): 12.2 s
  • 1/4 mile : 13.4 s (as stated in owners manual)

[edit] GTB, GTS and SpiderEdit

  • Engine: DOHC, 32 Valve V8, 3405 cc
  • Power: 320 bhp (239 kW) @ 7800 rpm
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual
  • Chassis: Steel platform & sub-frame
  • Suspension: Independent all round
  • Brakes: 4 wheel Disk ABS
  • Max. Speed: 281,5 km/h (175+ mph)
  • Acceleration
    • 0–96 km/h (60 mph): 5.3 s
    • 0–161 km/h (100 mph): 12.0 s
  • 1/4 mile : 13.2 s

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