Walk Down Memory Lane: Ferrari Mid V8 Cars

Walk Down Memory Lane: Ferrari Mid V8 Cars

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With production of the SF90 in full swing, let’s take a look at its predecessors.

1973 Ferrari 308 GT4 and 1975 208 GT4

Ferrari 308 GT4

Photo: Ferrari

Even though the Ferrari 308 GT4 is not in the same lineage as the F8 Tributo as it's an 2+2 coupé rather than a full-on mid-engine sports car, it's an important car to mention. Not only because it was the very first V8-powered production car by Ferrari, but also because it was the last car introduced under the Dino marque. The design was done by Bertone thus explaining the car's boxy design. Three years after its introduction in 1973 the car received Ferrari branding in 1976.

Ferrari 208 GT4

Photo: Ferrari

Essentially the same car as the Ferrari 308 GT4 (a few minor details were changed), the capacity of the V8 engine in the 208 GT4 was decreased to 2000 cc. Ferrari did this to make the car financially more attractive in its native market of Italy because of higher taxation on car with engines bigger than 2000 cc. Only 840 cars were built during the five-year production run.

Versions of the 308/208 GT4 include:

  • Ferrari 308 GT4 LM (racing)
  • Ferrari 308 GT4 Group 5 (rally)

1975 Ferrari 308 and 1980 Ferrari 208

 Ferrari 308 GTB

Photo: Juan Martinez

The Ferrari 308 GTB was unveiled at the 1975 Paris Motor Show as an addition to the Dino 308 and as successor to the Dino 246 GT. It was one of the first Ferraris to boast a less curvy design.

Ferrari 208 GTB

Photo: Derek Cornelissen

The Ferrari 208 was entirely based on the 308, but featured a smaller engine due to new tax regulations in Italy – 38% instead of the usual 18%. It was primarily sold in Italy.

Versions of the 308/208 GTB include:

  • Ferrari 308 GTBi
  • Ferrari 308 GTSi
  • Ferrari 308 GTB Quattrovalvole
  • Ferrari 308 GTS Quattrovalvole
  • Ferrari 208 GTB Turbo
  • Ferrari 208 GTS Turbo
  • Ferrari 308 Group 4 (rally)
  • Ferrari 308 Group B (rally
  • Ferrari 308 GT/M (rally/racing)

1986 Ferrari 328

Ferrari 328 GTB

Photo: Billy Tang

In spite of the fact that the Ferrari 328 looks quite similar to the 308, it’s still worth mentioning. The 328 was the final evolution of the V8 Dino engine.

Versions of this car include:

  • Ferrari 328 GTS
  • Ferrari GTB Turbo
  • Ferrari GTS Turbo

1989 Ferrari 348

 Ferrari 348 TB

Photo: Dan Milwood

Deemed ‘Best in Show’ during its debut at the 1989 Frankfurt Auto Show, the Ferrari 348 was the final V8 car developed by Enzo Ferrari before he passed away the year before. Leonardo Fioravanti was in charge of the design of the car. Although it borrowed styling cues from the Ferrari Testarossa and F40, it’s still to this day one of the most unloved V8 Ferraris.

Versions of this car include:

  • Ferrari 348 TS
  • Ferrari 348 Serie Speciale
  • Ferrari 348 Challenge (racing)
  • Ferrari 348 GTB
  • Ferrari 348 GTS
  • Ferrari 348 Spider
  • Ferrari 348 by Zagato (Special Project)
  • Ferrari 348 GT Competizione (racing)
  • Ferrari 348 GTC-LM (racing)

1994 Ferrari F355

Ferrari F355 Berlinetta

Photo: Derek Cornelissen

The 355 ushered in a softer, more modern design language and was an important car for Ferrari. Production exceeded 10.000 units and it was the first time Ferrari offered F1-style shifting paddles on a production car. The high-pitch V8 still sounds as beautiful as the car looks.

Versions of this car include:

  • Ferrari F355 Spider
  • Ferrari F355 GTS
  • Ferrari F355 Challenge (racing)

1999 Ferrari 360

Ferrari 360 Modena

Photo: Supercars Brazil

The turn of the century brought yet another evolution in Ferrari’s design language. The stunning 360 Modena possessed even more curves than its predecessors.

Versions of this car include:

  • Ferrari 360 Spider
  • Ferrari 360 Barchetta (Special Project)
  • Ferrari Challenge Stradale
  • Ferrari 360 Challenge (racing)
  • Ferrari 360 N-GT/GT/GTC (racing)

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2005 Ferrari F430

Ferrari F430

Photo: Roman Isachenko

The Ferrari F430 offered sharper lines than the 360 Modena and introduced new production practices that still persist. First, they introduce the Coupe version of their new flagship V8, then the Spider, and after a few years they roll out a limited-edition, track-focused version. Lastly, they launch a limited-edition convertible version of the track-focused car. This structure continues even today.

Versions of this car include:

  • Ferrari F430 Spider
  • Ferrari 430 Scuderia
  • Ferrari Scuderia Spider 16M
  • Ferrari F430 Spider Bio-Fuel (One-Off concept)
  • Ferrari SP1 (Special Project)
  • Ferrari F430 Challenge (racing)
  • Ferrari F430 GTC/GT3 (racing)
  • Ferrari 430 GT3 Scuderia (racing)

2010 Ferrari 458

Ferrari 458 Italia

Photo: Toy Barn

So good, even Caption Slow (i.e. James May) bought one. Telegraph Cars named the 458 Italia their 2011 Car of the Year in the category “Money No Object”. Whereas the F430 was a gentle reimagining of the 360, Donato Coco and Pininfarina gave the 458 Italia a whole new design language marked by sharp angles and discreet air intakes.

Versions of this car include:

  • Ferrari 458 Spider
  • Ferrari 458 Speciale
  • Ferrari 458 Speciale Aperta
  • Ferrari SP12 EC (Special Project)
  • Pininfarina Sergio (concept + production)
  • Ferrari 458 MM Speciale (Special Project)
  • Ferrari 458 Challenge
  • Ferrari 458 GTC/GT2/GT3/GTE/Grand-Am (racing)

2015 Ferrari 488

 Ferrari 488 GTB

Photo: Jose Solis

A new era of Ferrari mid-V8 cars arrived with the introduction of the 488 GTB. It was the first car in this bloodline to receive a turbocharged engine.

Versions of this car include:

  • Ferrari 488 Spider
  • Ferrari 488 Pista/Pista Piloti
  • Ferrari 488 Pista Spider
  • Ferrari J50 (Special Project)
  • Ferrari SP38 Deborah (Special Project)
  • Ferrari P80/C (Special Project)
  • Ferrari 488 Challenge/Challenge Evo (racing)
  • Ferrari 488 GTE (racing)
  • Ferrari 488 GT3 (racing)
  • Ferrari 488 GT Modificata (racing)

2020 Ferrari F8

Ferrari F8 Tributo

Photo: Nick Philippo

Named in honor of its remarkable V8 engine – the most powerful in Ferrari history – the F8 Tributo is the latest iteration of the mid-V8 concept. Design cues from important Ferrari V8 cars found their way on the drawing board, such as the louvered Perspex engine cover (F40) and iconic double taillights (many models).

Versions of this car include:

  • Ferrari F8 Spider
  • Ferrari SP48 Unica (Special Project)

Ferrari SF90 Stradale

Ferrari SF90 Stradale

Photo: Ernesto Rietdijk

Although the Ferrari F8 Tributo was in essence the last car in the lineage that was started by the 308 GTB in 1975, the SF90 Stradale is a car that has to be mentioned. Not only because it features a mid-V8, but also because it was the very first Ferrari to feature a usable hybrid-system.

Versions based on this car include:

  • Ferrari SF90 Spider
  • Ferrari SF90 XX Stradale
  • Ferrari SF90 XX Spider

What is your favourite Ferrari mid-V8 car from the last 45 years?


  • Erik Schumy

    You forgot the F355 Berlinetta.

  • David D

    Gated manual F355 GTB is the ultimate analog modern classic. I’m also a fan of the 430 scud and the 458.

  • Tom

    Within the 458 family, the Speciale and the SpecialeA are by far my favorite mid engine V8’s. They are perfect in every way. Especially the one piece rear quarters that do not have that everyday common ugly fish gullet opening to feed the turbo’s which I also do not like. Naturally aspirated all the way.

  • jim

    The favorite one is the one you skipped…..the 308GT4!

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