Presented at the 1994 Geneva Motor Show, the F355 Berlinetta was born with the idea of competing directly with the much acclaimed Honda NSX, the perfect sports car.
Designed to become the evolved heir of the 348, in addition to the significant increase in power of the new V8 with five valves per cylinder, the new model designed by Pininfarina also features a chassis with exceptional characteristics, supported by extremely effective electronically controlled suspension.
The synergy between all these components results in a car with top dynamic performance, covered as usual by the elegant Pininfarina line. In short, the F355 represents a nice step forward compared to the Ferrari 348, thanks to the many innovations introduced, such as the power steering, and the incredible aerodynamic innovations taken directly from Formula 1.
The F355, designed by Pininfarina, is the result of an ambitious project, born from the base of the Ferrari 348, with the aim of introducing innovations capable of improving the performance of the new model.
The fusion of elements already known and highly appreciated with highly innovative ones gives rise to a brand new car, which is able to guarantee emotions that only a Ferrari can offer. The performance values of the F355 are very high: 109 hp/liter, with specific power and torque that are the result of the adoption of the cylinder head and five valves per cylinder. The 3,496 cc engine delivers 380 horsepower.
The values achieved by the F355 Berlinetta are the result of a very accurate aerodynamic project, very efficient, thanks to the involvement of the lower part of the car.
The two-seater F355 Berlinetta features an aluminum and steel body. The style adopted depends on the severe aerodynamic requirements, met after 2.000 hours of work in the wind tunnel, which require an integration of the vehicle floor, all to obtain a perfect balance of the vertical loads (Cz).
The cockpit is designed for safety and driving pleasure, and the seats and trim are in Connolly leather. On request, racing definition composite armchairs are available.
The chassis is load-bearing, equipped with a tubular trellis frame to support the engine-suspension unit, while the suspensions are independent with deformable wishbones and gas shock absorbers with variable calibration adjustable in two electronically controlled positions complete the work. There are also stabilizer bars, while the steering is pinion, with servo-assisted rack and the possibility of mechanical driving on request. The brakes, on the other hand, have self-ventilating discs, with excludable ATE ABS.
The 18 inches wheels have magnesium rims. The value of 0.98 g of lateral acceleration recorded by the F355 reflects the parameters of much less sporty cars, but still represents an exceptional figure. Driving the F355 you feel great stability, even without the aid of power steering, which, again on request, may not even be equipped on the car.
The predictability of the car's reactions are incredible, even when pushed to the limit, because its reactions are progressive, predictable and well controllable, even on a wet track.
The 90° V8 engine, in a central rear position in longitudinal configuration, of 3.496 cm³, delivers a power of 380 hp, eighty more than that mounted on the 348, with a specific power of 109 hp/liter. The distribution is double overhead cam, with five valves per cylinder.
The model name derives from the total displacement of 3.5 liters and the five valves per cylinder.
The connecting rods are made of titanium, and engine management is entrusted to the Bosch M5.2 system. The lubrication is dry sump, while the transmission with a six-speed mechanical gearbox plus reverse gear, while the clutch was single-plate dry.
Taking a cue from colleagues in the Formula One racing department turns out to be a winning move, because in this way extreme and sophisticated solutions have been adapted to road use. The result? The V8 is a real bomb, because every time the accelerator is activated, the engine generates a powerful and constant thrust, from the low to the high revs, accompanying everything with a wonderful sound.
The character of the engine, and its robustness, are also testified by the fact that for the Challange (the mono-brand championship that Ferrari sets up with this car) no changes are made to the basic version of the drive unit.
Rear, longitudinal, 8V 90°
Bore and stroke 85x77 mm
Unit displacement 436.94 cm³
Total displacement 3495.50 cm³
Compression ratio 11:1
Maximum power 279 kW (380 hp) at 8250 rpm
Specific power 109 hp/liter
Maximum torque 363 Nm (37 kgm) at 6000 rpm
Double shaft distribution, five valves per cylinder
Bosch Motronic M2.7 electronic injection
Mono ignition, Bosch Motronic M2.7 static electronics
Dry sump lubrication
Single plate clutch
In steel with tubular rear frame
Independent front suspension, wishbones, coil springs, telescopic gas shock absorbers, stabilizer bar
Independent rear suspension, wishbones, coil springs, telescopic gas shock absorbers, stabilizer bar
Six-speed gearbox + RM
Steering with rack and pinion
88 liter fuel tank
Front tires 25/40 ZR 18
Rear tires 265/40 ZR 18
Body type Berlinetta, two seats
Length 4250 mm
Width 1900 mm
Height 1170 mm
Wheelbase 2450 mm
Front track 1514 mm
Rear track 1615 mm
Weight 1350 kg when empty
Simone Pietro Zazza