1998 Ferarri 355 F1
Configuration: Longitudinal mid-engine
Horsepower: 380 at 8250 RPM
Torque: 268 ft/lbs at 6000 RPM
Max RPM: 8250 RPM
Transmission: 6-speed automated manual gearbox
A Little History
The 1998 Ferrari 355 F1 Berlinetta is the next step in the evolution of Ferrari’s mid-engine V8 supercars, following the success of the 1989 Ferrari 348 TB. The Berlinetta was considered a large jump in technology in comparison with the 348. Not only did it increase in displacement, but changed from a 4- to a 5-valve-per-cylinder head.
1998 was the first year that Ferrari offered the option of the F1 transmission. It allowed the driver to have similar performance to a manual gearbox, with the comfort and ease of an automatic.
The F1 transmission uses a computer-controlled clutch, allowing the driver the convenience of not using a clutch pedal and shifting gears with paddle shifters, as opposed to the traditional gated shifter. The paddle shifters were designed to mimic the paddle shifters found in Ferrari’s Formula-1 racecars. However, if the driver so desired, he or she could opt to order the manual gearbox instead.
The Berlinetta currently on display was purchased as and designed to be an everyday driver. The interior features full carpeting, leather seats, insulation, and a full HVAC system, all similar to modern cars.
This is the first Ferrari to feature a rear Challenge grill to allow for additional heat dissipation from the engine compartment. This grill comes from Ferrari’s F355 Challenge car, which is the non-street-legal racecar version of the 355 Berlinetta on display.
Did you know?: One of the distinct aerodynamic advantages of the 355 is the factory production axle-to-axle undertray, which allows air to pass smoothly underneath the car and creates less drag.
The 355 is equipped with pop-up headlights in order to increase aerodynamics. However, later Ferraris integrated the headlights into the front end of the body, so as to have the aerodynamics available at all times of the day, as opposed to only during the daytime.