The F355 fixed all the 348’s faults, making it one of the most sought after Ferrari berlinettas. But it is difficult to maintain.
If the F355 is similar to the 348, it is drastically different. Everything has been reviewed! Starting with the engine. The V8 90 cm3 (now 3.5 l) gains cylinder heads and titanium connecting rods with 5 valves per cylinder and develops 380 hp, which is still an increase of 60 hp compared to the 3.4 l of the 348 GTB. The box, for its part, benefits from a 6th report, the direction of an aid and a controlled damping suspension. But that’s not all: aerodynamics have been the subject of special care, with the 355 adopting a flat base that balances the downforce between the axles for the benefit of high-speed stability. An important point in a vehicle with a speed of 295 km / h! Also, Ferrari’s boss since 1991, Luca di Montezemolo has slammed his fist on the table to improve the quality of his models. And 355 is where that progression begins.
In any case, when it was released in Geneva in 1994 it was very well received for its aesthetics alone: it got rid of these much-criticized lines in the 348. Billed at €735,000 (i.e. €156,500 today), the 355 is an immediate success. He deserved it because he managed to be more efficient than his predecessor, much more efficient but also easier to drive at the limits. Its orientation and damping eliminates some feedback, but it’s nothing prohibitive. First offered as a coupé and a targa, the vehicle was available as the Spider in 1995, then gained a (rather slow) F1 robotic transmission option in 1997. It then developed only in detail, and in 1999 it was replaced by 360 Modena. The last hundred Spiders are called Fiorano and benefit from the Fiorano Transport Pack option. As such, they are distinguished by making use of thicker anti-roll bars to which they add a more direct direction, new damper laws, a tighter suspension, optimized brakes and extended tracks. Designed for the USA, the Fiorano would only be available in three units in Europe: pure collectors! In total, 355 were produced in 11,373 units, approximately 45% Coupe, 36% GTS and 19% Spider, with manuals accounting for 75% of sales.
What is the price ?
For a long time it was believed that the rating of the 355 would fly away, but the high production figure prevents this. Much of the market is thriving for over 50,000 kilometers, from €60 to €70,000, regardless of bodywork and box. Below, prices sometimes rise unreasonably. On the other hand, it makes sense to pay more for a very rare copy equipped with the Fiorano Transport Package… but still over €120,000.
Which version to choose?
Even if the robot box has reliability issues, it’s primarily a matter of taste, but also a matter of wallet. Overall, despite its increased quality, the 355 is more costly to maintain than the 348 because it is more complex. If the mechanics are sound then the collectors will crack, the paint will crack at the rear pillar/wing joint while the electronics are causing a lot of trouble. The robotic transmission also has reliability issues.