Ferrari Mondial T, not a mere last dance



Introduced in 1989 as the latest evolution of the Mondial family, Ferrari is not limited to simple updates, but also introduces important technical innovations derived directly from the world of Formula 1.


The name Mondial T is a clear signal of the fil rouge, in every sense when we talk about the Prancing Horse, which links road Ferraris and Formula 1 Ferraris: the name Mondial, while referring to the sports cars of the 1950s, celebrates the Drivers' title obtained by Jody Scheckter in 1979 while the initials T, despite the 1980s being those of the turbo era in Formula 1, indicates the position of the transversely mounted gearbox.


This technological choice is the result of the experience gained with the single-seaters from Maranello, such as the legendary 312 T designed by the engineer Forghieri.


Externally, the Pininfarina line changes in very few details compared to the original model, however these tweaks make the T version immediately recognizable compared to its ancestors: first of all the side grilles now have a rectangular shape compared to the previous trapezoidal type, as well as having smaller dimensions combined with the door handles in body color, giving the side a more sober and elegant air.



The front grille is reduced and positioned lower, there is a new type of retractable front headlight, and the bumpers are devoid of the black lateral band typical of the first versions, as well as having a more rounded shape to better integrate with the passes -wheels also increased in size, in order to enhance the sculptural tone of the car body.


More important is the reinterpretation of the interiors, where a better integration of various elements such as the new dashboard, the new steering wheel, the creation of a central console, the backrest of the foldable rear seats and a more careful choice of upholstery have allowed the craftsmen of the create a more sober, rational and modern interior in full 80s style.



The novelties under the skin of the Ferrari Mondial T are more relevant: the V8 grows in size and power, displacement 3,404.70 cubic centimeters and 300 horsepower reached at 7,200 rpm, also thanks to the new integrated ignition and injection system made by Bosch.


Another feature of the F 119 DL engine, later F 199 G due to the adjustments relating to emissions, is its longitudinal arrangement, a novelty for Ferrari's central V8s, which combined with a five-speed synchronized gearbox positioned transversely the technicians of the Prancing Horse to lower the center of gravity by thirteen centimeters.


In addition, an innovative electronically controlled clutch will be introduced in the latest cars built in 1992, which will allow you to change gears manually but without pressing any pedal. This clutch is called Valeo.



Maximum speed of 255 km/h, and a sprint from 0 to 100 in 6.3 seconds, allow the Mondial to re-enter the Red Olympus, improving the performance of the first series considered too little Ferrari by the general public.


The frame, F 118 AL/D, is a classic tubular steel. However, this presents a historic novelty for the Ferrari world: if up until now the road cars were recognizable by the last odd digit on the chassis number, while the racing cars were all even, everything changes from chassis number 75.000: now even in Gran Turismo cars it is possible to find specimens with chassis numbers ending with an even number.


In the case of the Mondial T coupé, the eight hundred and fifty-eight cars produced start from chassis 79596 up to 97698, while the one thousand and seventeen convertibles are registered starting from 80339 up to 97753.


In the engine compartment, in addition to the main frame, there is a sub-frame bolted to the main structure to allow the removal of both the mechanical part and the rear chassis in a single block to facilitate maintenance.


Independent suspension, anti-roll bars, coil springs and hydraulic shock absorbers at the front and rear complete the architecture of the Ferrari Mondial. The shock absorbers could be controlled electronically by the pilot-driver. With three setting modes, rigid, medium and soft, a more suitable and engaging driving experience is obtained for the required situation, with a concept similar to the current knob, highlighting how man-machine interaction has always been a theme of relief at Ferrari.



Available with both left-hand and right-hand drive, there are only fifty-one coupes out of over eight hundred examples with the steering wheel on the right; convertibles are even rarer, with only forty-eight right-hand drive cars. Continuing to talk about rarity, there are the versions with specifications designed for the US market, produced only in forty-three cars.


Despite the low numbers and the continuous updating and refinement of the Mondial product, this Ferrari is still snubbed and underestimated by sports car enthusiasts. However, the performance of the T version, now finally worthy of the Prancing Horse, the constructive care and the rarity of some models make the Ferrari Mondial T an attractive collector's item, especially for those who want to enter the world of Classic Ferraris for the first time.


DATA SHEET


Coupé or Cabriolet, 2+2 seats

Rear engine, longitudinal

Rear-wheel Drive

Dimensions and weights


Length 4535 mm

Width 1810 mm

Height 1235 mm

Front track 1522 mm

Rear track 1560 mm

Wheelbase 2650 mm

Unladen weight 1426 Kg (1468 Kg if Cabriolet)

86 liter tank


Engine


Displacement 3404.70 cm³

Type 119, 90 ° V8, light alloy base and head, rear, longitudinal

Bore and stroke 85x75 mm

Compression ratio 10.4: 1

Unit displacement 425.59 cm³

Double camshaft distribution, four valves per cylinder

Bosch Motronic M 2.5 Electronic Injection

Mechanics


Power 221 kW/300 hp at 7.200 rpm

Specific Power 88 hp/liter (65 Kw/liter) and 95 nm/liter

Torque 324 Nm at 4,200 rpm

Mono ignition, Bosch M2.5 static electronics

Dry sump lubrication

Bosch 12 V electrical system

Two-plate clutch

Transaxle gearbox, transverse

Five-speed + RM


Frame


Tubular steel

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

Independent rear suspension, wishbones, coil springs, telescopic gas shock absorbers, stabilizer bar

Steering with rack and pinion

Ventilated front disc brakes Ø 282mm

Rear ventilated disc brakes Ø 280mm

Front tires 205/55

225/50 rear tires

16" rims


Performance declared


Speed ​​over 255 Km/h

Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds, from 0 to 400 meters in 14.3 seconds, and from 0 to 1000 meters in 25.8 seconds


Luca Saitta

Magazine

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