All the Ferrari V8 sports cars in one place: a spotter’s guide

Published: 05 May 2015

V8 Ferrari Berlinettas

There was a neat family photo album opportunity at the UK launch event for the new Ferrari 488 GTB, where Ferrari assembled all of the car’s direct predecessors outside the venue, tracing the line back to its original 308 GTB origins.

A perfect opportunity, then, for a quick stroll down memory lane, and a potted history of the modern V8 ‘junior’ models from Maranello.

Ferrari 488 GTB: 2015-on

Ferrari 488 GTB

The 488 GTB is the latest eight-cylinder Ferrari but it’s also the first of this particular line to go turbocharged, squeezing 661bhp from four litres and passing 124mph in 8.3 seconds. With stats like those, we’re not sure it quite qualifies as a junior model anymore.

Engine: 3902cc twin-turbo, 661bhp @ 8000rpm

Ferrari 458 Italia: 2009-2015

Ferrari 458 Italia

These are the really rather large shoes the 488 GTB must fill. Will going forced induction mean losing the 458’s hair-trigger throttle response? And accessible, yet incredibly agile handling? We’ll have to wait and see.

Click here for CAR’s Ferrari 458 Italia review.

Engine: 4499cc, 562bhp @ 9000rpm

Ferrari F430: 2004-2009

Ferrari F430

Ostensibly the F430 was a larger-engined, restyled evolution of its 360 predecessor, but it marked a night and day leap forward. Clever differential electronics transformed the 360’s occasionally unpredictable handling traits, and introduced the now de-rigueur ‘manettino’ control to the steering wheel. Frank Stephenson was the man in charge of the crayons, now in charge of design at Ferrari’s nemesis, McLaren. Hardcore Scuderia version remains an all-time great driver’s car.

Engine: 4308cc, 491bhp @ 8500rpm

Ferrari 360 Modena: 1999-2005

Ferrari 360 Modena

The 360 brought an altogether curvier design language to the V8 Ferrari template, with huge underbody channels to eradicate aerodynamic lift at speed. It’s now becoming an appreciating classic. Track-focussed Challenge Stradale versions are rightly the most sought-after; twitchy but enthralling to drive, their values are climbing to stratospheric levels.

Engine: 3586cc, 394bhp @ 8500rpm

Ferrari F355: 1994-1999

Ferrari F355

Regarded by some as the last truly pretty Ferrari, the 355 did much to turn an underperforming Maranello’s fortunes around in the 1990s. With well over 11,000 cars sold, it’s also one of the best-selling Ferraris of all time – beaten only by the 360 and 430 so far.

Engine: 3496cc, 375bhp @ 8250rpm

Ferrari 348tb: 1989-1995

Ferrari 348

Perhaps one of the less celebrated V8 models in Ferrari’s back catalogue, the side-straked 348 cribbed from its bigger Testarossa brother’s styling notes. Later GTB and GTS models improved on early versions’ occasionally unpredictable handling, and the 348 family is certainly one of the cheaper routes into a V8 Ferrari.

Engine: 3405cc, 300bhp @ 7200rpm

Ferrari 328 GTB: 1985-1989

Ferrari 328

A more powerful evolution of the 308, the 328 was the last V8 Ferrari to carry its engine transversely. Almost as pretty as the car it succeeded, its larger 3.2-litre engine took it to a probably-quite-scary top speed of 166mph. The same engine later powered the 348, having been turned north-south.

Engine: 3185cc, 270bhp @ 7000rpm

Ferrari 308 GTB

Ferrari 308

The modern eight-cylinder Ferrari story starts here. Styled by design hero Leonardo Fioravanti (the man behind the Ferrari Dino, Daytona and F40 – and the 328) the 308 had the unenviable task of replacing the Dino, but somehow avoided a Lazenby-follows-Connery scenario to become a classic in its own right. Magnum P.I. drove a targa-roofed GTS; Jean-Claude Andruet out-cooled him by driving a spotlight-clad Group B rally version, in days when manettinos, e-Diffs and dual-clutch gearboxes weren’t yet a twinkle in an ingegnere’s eye…

Engine: 2926cc, 240bhp @ 7700rpm

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, occasional racer

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