Sunday 13 November 2011
The Ferrari 360 is a mid-engine midsize two-seater sports car produced from late 1999 until 2005. The 360 replaced the Ferrari F355 and was itself replaced by the fairly similar Ferrari F430. For the 360, Ferrari partnered with Alcoa to produce an entirely new all-aluminum space-frame chassis that was 40% stiffer than the F355, yet 28% lighter despite a 10% increase in overall dimensions. Along with the new frame was a new Pininfarina body styling that broke ranks with the last decade's sharp angles and flip-up headlights, replacing them with a rounded appearance that harkened to the 1960s. The new V8 engine, common to all versions, was only slightly larger and more powerful than the F355's at 3.6 litres and 400 bhp (300 kW) of power, but the lighter frame and added stiffness improved performance; the 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration performance improved from 4.6 to 4.4 seconds. An engine replacement resulted in the V8 road model that followed, the F430 (internally referred to as the evoluzione or evo) which came out in 2004.
Three road going versions were produced: 360 Modena, 360 Spider, both of which were available with either 6 speed or F1 transmissions and Challenge Stradale, an F1 electrohydraulic manual 360 Challenge inspired variant of a 360 Modena.
In addition to this there were the usual factory race cars: 360 Challenge, a one make series factory built customer race car based on the 360 Modena but completely stripped out and non road legal. 360 GT-C, a 360 Challenge stripped out and tuned by Veloqx-Prodive to compete in the N-GT class.
There is also one Ferrari "modificato" 360 Modena. Details are limited however it is known to have had extensive performance modifications carried out at owners request. An additional version, 360 Barchetta, was a one-off wedding present from Ferrari to Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo.
The first model of the 360 to ship was the 360 Modena, named after the town of Modena, the birthplace of Enzo Ferrari. Its six-speed gearbox is available as a manual, or F1 electrohydraulic manual which was only offered after late 2000. The car went into production in 1999 and remained in production until 2005 when it was replaced by the F430. The Modena was followed by the 360 Spider, Ferrari's 20th road-going convertible. Other than weight, the Spider's specifications match those of the Modena almost exactly. The Challenge Stradale (or CS) was a later addition to the road line. It was essentially a lightened version of the Modena, dropping 110 kilograms and drastically improving its handling through optimizations such as uprated titanium springs (lowering unsprung weight), stiffer bushes (from 360 Challenge cars) and uprated rear anti roll bar (the same anti-roll bar as used on 430 Scuderia). Changes included larger 19" BBS wheels, the use of carbon fiber for the frames of the seats and mirrors, titanium springs which were also 20% stiffer, and Carbon fibre-reinforced Silicon Carbide (C/SiC) ceramic composite brake disks. A variety of option allowed for further weight reductions, including replacing the leather interior with fabric, removal of the power windows and mirrors, and deletion of the stereo. Lexan side windows were available in Europe only. It was officially introduced in March 2003 at the Geneva International Motor Show and went into production shortly thereafter. The CS can be compared to Porsche's GT3 RS model in design approach and many magazines have placed them head to head in road tests. Jeremy Clarkson compared the two and chose the CS to be his favourite.
- engine: V8
- capacity: 3586 cc
- horsepower: 405 HP
- gearbox: 6+1
- top speed: 299 km/h