In-depth Guide To Mid-V8 Ferrari Convertibles (Part 1 of 2)

In-depth Guide To Mid-V8 Ferrari Convertibles (Part 1 of 2)

With the recent arrival of the Ferrari SF90 Spider, let’s take a look at how far the Prancing Horse has come in building mid-V8 convertibles.

The car figures mentioned are confirmed by Ferrari.

Click here to read Part 2.

1971 Dino 246 GTS

1971 Dino 246 GTS

Photo: Cargold

Although not powered by a V8, the Dino 246 GTS was the first mid-engine convertible produced by Ferrari. It was powered by a 2.4-L V6 engine. The coupe version of the 246 (the GT) went through three different series, with both visual and technical differences. The GTS was only built after the introduction of the third series. Read more about why Ferrari introduced the Dino marque.

  • Dry weight: 1100 kg / 2426 lbs (20 kg / 44 lbs heavier than the Coupé).
  • Manually removable roof panel stowed behind the seats.
  • Total production: 1274 units.

1977 Ferrari 308 GTS

1977 Ferrari 308 GTS

Photo: Ferrari

The Ferrari 308 was first introduced at the 1975 Paris Motor Show in coupe version. Two years later, the Frankfurt Motor Show saw the reveal of the Ferrari 308 GTS – a targa-styled convertible version of the Ferrari 308. This was the very first mid-V8 convertible Ferrari built for the masses. The abbreviation ‘GTS’ stands for Gran Turismo Spider.

  • Dry weight: 1090 kg / 2403 lbs (similar weight as the Coupé).
  • Manually removable roof panel, stowed behind the seats.
  • Total production: 3219 units.

1980 Ferrari 308 GTSi

1980 Ferrari 308 GTSi

Photo: Ferrari

Ferrari introduced the 308 GTSi in 1980 with mechanical fuel injection to decrease emissions. This unfortunately decreased its power output, too. Visually, the car was different as oppose to the 308 GTS as it had slightly different designed wheels.

  • Dry weight: 1297 kg / 2859 lbs (9 kg / 20 lbs heavier than the Coupé).
  • Manually removable roof panel stowed behind the seats.
  • Total production: 1743 units.

1980 Ferrari 208 GTS

1980 Ferrari 208 GTS

Photo: Fraka

Alongside the 308 family, Ferrari unveiled the 208 line in 1980. The engine was 1990 cc instead of the 308’s 2927 cc, which was done to help buyers avoid luxury taxes. Visually, it was the same car as the Ferrari 308. An in-depth look at the 208 and why it is regarded as the slowest Ferrari can be found here.

  • Dry weight: 1254 kg / 2765 lbs (22 kg / 48.5 lbs heavier than the Coupé).
  • Manually removable roof panel, stowed behind the seats.
  • Total production: 160 units.

1982 Ferrari 308 GTS Quattrovalvole

1982 Ferrari 308 GTS Quattrovalvole

Photo: Ferrari

To make up for the power loss of the GTSi, the Prancing Horse revealed the 308 GTS Quattrovalvole in 1982. Thanks to a new engine layout (four valves per cylinder, instead of two) power output increased by about 35 hp, to a total of 240. This updated version also brought a few new design cues to the table, such as a new radiator design, power windows and a new satin black steering wheel.

  • Dry weight: 1286 kg / 2835 lbs (11 kg / 24 lbs heavier than the Coupé).
  • Manually removable roof panel stowed behind the seats.
  • Total production: 3042 units.

1982 Ferrari 208 GTS Turbo

1982 Ferrari 208 GTS Turbo

Photo: Coys

With critical power lost due to the engine being so small, Ferrari searched for ways to increase the 208’s power output. As they learned in Formula 1, turbocharging cars was a quick and effective to gain more power output without increasing emissions too much.

The Ferrari 208 thus became the first road-going Ferrari with a turbo. Both the 208 and 208 Turbo were built for the Italian domestic market.

  • Dry weight: 1243 kg / 2740 lbs (9 kg / 20 lbs heavier than the Coupé).
  • Manually removable roof panel stowed behind the seats.
  • Total production: 250 units.

1983 Ferrari Mondial QV Cabriolet

1983 Ferrari Mondial QV Cabriolet

Photo: Ferrari

The Ferrari Mondial QV was introduced in 1982. It replaced the Mondial 8 with small design differences and – more importantly – a cabriolet version. The Mondial QV Cabriolet was very popular with American drivers, where open-top driving is often preferred to a regular car. Fun fact: The Cabriolet is still the only four-seat, mid-rear engine convertible automobile ever manufactured in regular production. It also was the first soft-top Ferrari with a mid-V8, which would continue until the introduction of the hard-top 458 Spider in 2011.

  • Dry weight: 1607 kg / 3543 lbs (52 kg / 115 lbs heavier than the Coupé).
  • Manually removable soft-top.
  • Total production: 629 units.

1985 Ferrari Mondial 3.2 Cabriolet

1985 Ferrari Mondial 3.2 Cabriolet

Photo: Ferrari

An updated version of the Mondial QV Cabriolet was introduced at the 1985 Frankfurt Motor Show: the Mondial 3.2. Both the coupe and convertible were introduced at the same time. 3.2 refers to the engine size.

  • Dry weight: 1400 kg / 3086 lbs (10 kg / 22 lbs lighter than the Coupé).
  • Manually removable soft-top.
  • Total production: 810 units.

1985 Ferrari 328 GTS

1985 Ferrari 328 GTS

Photo: Ferrari

Introduced alongside the Mondial 3.2, the 328 GTS was an updated version of the 308. The latter was in production for about 10 years. Along with the Mondial 3.2, the 328 line was powered by a new 3.2-L V8. An update for the 328 came in February 1988, giving them new ABS brakes, 16-inch wheels and an improved suspension setup.

  • Dry weight: 1273 kg / 2806 lbs (10 kg / 22 lbs heavier than the Coupé).
  • Manually removable roof panel stowed behind the seats.
  • Total production: 6068 units.

1986 Ferrari GTS Turbo

1986 Ferrari GTS Turbo

Photo: Ferrari

The GTB and GTS Turbo were launched in 1986 to help buyers avoid luxury taxes. Cars with a displacement smaller than 2-litre were subject to an 18% VAT rate rather than the usual 38%. The engine was developed from the 208 Turbo and produced about 251 bhp. Ferrari kept it under the 328’s power output for commercial reasons.

  • Dry weight: 1275 kg / 2811 lbs (10 kg / 22 lbs heavier than the Coupé).
  • Manually removable roof panel, stowed behind the seats.
  • Total production: 328 units.

1989 Ferrari 348 TS

1989 Ferrari 348 TS

Photo: Ferrari

One of the biggest designs shifts in the mid-V8 Ferrari convertible family can be seen with the 348. This model was heavily influenced by cars of the time, such as the Testarossa. It had straked side air intakes, larger wheels and a satin black rear grille. TS referred to Transversale Spider.

  • Dry weight: 1393 kg / 3071 lbs (similar weight as the Coupé).
  • Manually removable roof panel stowed behind the seats.
  • Total production: 4228 units.

Ferrari 348 Barchetta Competizione

1995 Ferrari 348 Barchetta Competizione

Photo: Eddy Clio

Worth mentioning is the Ferrari 348 Barchetta Competizione. This one-off car was built by a 348 owner who crashed his car and transformed it to an open-top track car.

  • Total production: 1 unit.

1989 Ferrari Mondial T Cabriolet

1989 Ferrari Mondial T Cabriolet

Photo: Ferrari

The final evolution of the Ferrari Mondial came in 1989, both in coupe and cabriolet form. It offered better performance and handling than its predecessors. Just like the Ferrari 348, it received a ‘1980s car design treatment’ such as straked side air intakes, body-coloured front and rear bumpers, and slightly wider hips.

  • Dry weight: 1468 kg / 3236 lbs (42 kg / 93 lbs heavier than the Coupé).
  • Total production: 1017 units.

1992 Ferrari 348 TS Serie Speciale

1992 Ferrari 348 TS Serie Speciale

Photo: LBI Limited

Ferrari built a Serie Speciale of the 348 between 1992 and 1993. These were uniquely produced for the US market. Read more about this V8 Sport Special here.

  • Manually removable roof panel, stowed behind the seats.
  • Total production: 65 units.

1993 Ferrari 348 Spider

1993 Ferrari 348 Spider

Photo: Ferrari

Alongside the TS version, Ferrari introduced a Spider version of the 348 in 1993. It was the first real Spider since the 365 GTC/4, as all of the previous open-top cars were Targa designs. The car had a manual folding soft-top and benefitted from an increased power output of 315 bhp.

  • Dry weight: 1370 kg / 3020 lbs (23 kg / 51 lbs heavier than the Coupé).
  • 20 seconds to deploy or retract the roof.
  • Total production: ± 1000 units.

1993 Ferrari 348 GTS

1993 Ferrari 348 GTS

Photo: Ferrari

Together with the 348 Spider, Ferrari also unveiled the 348 GTS in 1993. Power output increased to 315 bhp, and subtle styling changes were implemented. These changes included a different front grille, removable seat cushions, and body-coloured engine covers and side skirts.

  • Dry weight: 1370 kg / 3020 lbs (23 kg / 51 lbs heavier than the Coupé).
  • Manually removable roof panel, stowed behind the seats.
  • Total production: 137 units.

1995 Ferrari F355 Spider

1995 Ferrari F355 Spider

Photo: Ferrari

Unveiled in 1995, the Ferrari F355 Spider was a completely open version of the F355 Berlinetta coupe. The F355 models were the first Prancing Horses available with the innovative 6-speed F1-style gearbox. From 1997 onward, buyers could pick between a manual 6-speed and a 6-speed ‘paddle-shifter’ gearbox.

  • Dry weight: 1440 kg / 3175 lbs (90/ 198 lbs heavier than the Coupé).
  • 20 seconds to deploy or retract the roof.
  • Total production: 3717 units (1053 with F1 transmission).

Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for Part 2. This will go live on December 18 at 20.00 (CET).

Written by Max Lammers. Join our email list if you’re interested in receiving the latest on our online magazine and store.


1 comment


  • Tom Ferrara

    Excellent historic synopsis…
    Nicely done.


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