Ferrari Mondial 3.2, a test of maturity

The evolution of the four-seater and mid-engined model continues, with power and performance that now reach levels in keeping with the Prancing Horse brand.

It was September 1985 when the Ferrari Mondial 3.2 was presented, the third chapter of the Mondial family, with a series of important aesthetic and technical innovations that give new life to the four-seater Gran Turismo with central engines.

As can be guessed from the nomenclature, the V8 engine grows in size, now a 3.2-liter, while the Mondial name continues to celebrate the titles won in Formula 1: in fact, the last constructors 'title is dated 1983 while the world drivers' world championship is missing from the Jody Scheckter's victory, which took place a few years earlier, in 1979.

The Ferrari Mondial 3.2 is easily recognized compared to previous generations thanks to a series of aesthetic interventions that modernize its line and appearance: the bumpers with raw and black plastic finish disappear and are replaced by elements totally in body color and with different design, now in line with the rest of the eight-cylinder range, effectively creating the first family feeling in the history of the Prancing Horse.

The grille and front light clusters also resume those of the contemporary 328, while in the tail, in addition to the aforementioned bumpers, only the word Mondial 3.2 is inserted.

The side, designed by Pininfarina, remains unchanged: only new magnesium alloy rims are introduced, again in the shape of a five-spoke star, convex instead of flat; this in order to accommodate the modified suspension geometry after having equipped the braking system with the ABS device. An update that covered all the road Ferraris of the mid-1980s.

The interiors also remain almost identical to the previous Quattrovalvole; the only significant change concerns the dashboard, which has two bevels in the upper corners of the instrument panel, making the view of this element more elusive and dynamic.

Instrument panel that features two circular dials behind the steering wheel: the speedometer on the left while the tachometer on the right, surrounded by a series of lights and warning lights on a quadrangular background with a modern flavor for the time.

On the right of the panel there are four secondary instruments, also round in shape, which indicate the temperature values ​​and the fuel level.

The central tunnel, detached from the upper dashboard which thus remains suspended, extends between the four seats, and we find the radio, now ergonomically positioned and easily accessible by the driver, anchorage points for the belts and a series of buttons for secondary controls.

Their realization in polymeric material would like to convey a modern touch to the environment, however, the aesthetic effect makes it halfway. In fact, the luxury conveyed by the Ferrari interiors by its nature is based on a minimalist but refined style, where the rendering of the different materials plays a fundamental role in making the lucky passengers feel pampered once seated in the passenger compartment, also satisfying the eye. for the right combination of different raw materials such as wood, leather and metals.

This feeling seems to fade in the Mondial, however the fine leather that covers practically the whole environment, the completely black, three-spoke steering in leather and satin aluminum, and the classic aca grille of the manual gearbox, return the right merits to a refined and refined interior.

The update regarding the V8 type F 105 CS 000, in the European variant, is of greater impact: despite being based on the previous three liters fitted by the Mondial Quattrovalvole, the displacement now grows, reaching 3.185 cubic centimeters, with the dimensional increase of bore and stroke, respectively 83 by 73 millimeters.

The engine is a V8 with a 90° opening angle, double overhead camshafts per cylinder bank, guided by toothed belt, with mechanical injection and electronic ignition system, the first made by Bosch, the second by Magneti Marelli.

The final result translates into 270 horsepower at a maximum rotation of 7.000 rpm, a maximum speed of 250 km/h, and a torque of 304 Nm at 5.500 rpm which allows the Mondial 3.2 to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in just over seven seconds: values ​​worthy of a thoroughbred Cavallino.

The versions destined for the United States and Switzerland are less powerful due to stricter anti-pollution regulations, which force Maranello's technicians to further throttle the power of their engine.

In addition, the transverse arrangement of the engine, combined with a synchronized five-speed gearbox, allows for easy maintenance, being able to remove the entire engine block in a few steps thanks to the anchoring by means of bolts on a sub-frame. This technical solution makes the Mondial one of the simplest and cheapest Ferraris to maintain.

Cycling in the name of tradition: independent suspension, wishbones, coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers, stabilizer bar, self-ventilated disc brakes.

The frame is a tubular steel, a well-known type in the Ferrari world: this design technique has allowed the Maranello-based manufacturer to introduce the cabriolet variant on the market without carrying out extensive interventions on the structure that would have significantly increased the final weight, losing in agility and driving pleasure.

In addition, the car with the canvas roof, while following the lines traced by the coupé version, is more streamlined and elusive, improving the aesthetic performance of the side.

In this historical period, an important update involves the chassis number of road Ferraris: after almost forty years of activity, starting with chassis number 75000, even the Gran Turismo versions are counted with the even numbering, previously reserved only for cars. racing.

The internal reference of the chassis is the number F 108 CL 000 if it is a coupé, while the cabriolet is coded as F 108 CS 000.

From 1985 to 1989, the year of the end of production for the Ferrari Mondial 3.2, 987 closed roof models were built (from chassis 58277 to number 79671), while the open version was made in 810 units (from chassis 59393 to chassis 78895), testifying to the great success of the convertible format on this particular type of car.


Coupé and Cabriolet, 2+2 seats

Rear engine, transverse

Rear-wheel Drive

Size and Weights

Length 4535 mm

Width 1795 mm

Height 1235 mm

Cabriolet height 1265 mm

Front track 1520 mm

Rear track 1510 mm

Wheelbase 2650 mm

Empty weight 1410 Kg (1400 Kg the Cabriolet)

80 liters tank


Displacement 3185.76 cm³

Type 105, 90° V8

Bore and stroke 83 by 73 mm

Compression ratio 9.8: 1

Unit displacement 398.22 cm³

Double camshaft distribution, four valves per cylinder

Bosch K-Jetronic mechanical injection


Power 199 kW/270 hp at 7.000 rpm

Specific Power 85 hp/liter (62 Kw/liter) and 99 nm/liter

Torque 304 Nm at 5.500 rpm

Mono ignition, Marelli Microplex electronics

Wet sump

Single plate clutch

Five-speed gearbox + RM


Tubular steel

Independent front suspension, wishbones, coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers, stabilizer bar

Independent rear suspension, transverse wishbones, coaxial coil springs with telescopic shock absorbers, stabilizer bar

Steering with rack and pinion

Front self-ventilated disc brakes ø 282 mm

Rear self-ventilated disc brakes ø 280 mm

Front tires 205/55

Rear tires 225/55

16" rims

Performance declared

Speed ​​250 Km/h

Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.4 seconds, from 0 to 400 meters in 14.6 seconds, and from 0 to 1000 meters in 27.2 seconds

Luca Saitta

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