Ferrari 360 Modena

At the 1999 International Geneva Motor Show (Tuesday 9th March Press Day) Ferrari SpA unveiled one of the most significant sports cars ever to be built at Maranello the new "Ferrari 360 Modena".

The 360 Modena was designed as an interpretation of the Ferrari berlinetta with a V8 engine for the 21st century, radically innovative features such as significant weight reduction, a larger body and a higher level of equipment. One extremely important element, which is new on a Ferrari road car, is the use of aluminium to build the entire frame, combined with the bodyshell and chassis components which are also fabricated in aluminium.

The main features of Ferrari's new 360 Modena were laid down in 1994, that is, immediately after the F355 was introduced. The 360 Modena had to be bigger than the F355, but lighter and more powerful so that it would clearly outperform it - and be at least as much fun to drive. So it was decided to make the car in aluminum. Many components were already aluminum in the F355, but in the 360 Modena this lighter material was to be used for the chassis structure and the running gear too.

The result is a space frame made up of extruded aluminum tubes of rectangular section, and the beam rigidity of the finished structure is increased by 42 percent and the torsional rigidity by 44 percent, compared with the F355.

Though being 9 inches longer than its predecessor, having larger brakes and being more powerful, the 360 Modena is 220 lb lighter than the F355.

Another major technical advance of the 360 lies in its aerodynamics. The car's general shape and the location of the various air intakes are the result of 5400 hours spent in Ferrari's and Pininfarina's wind tunnels.

The all-aluminum, 4-cam, 40-valve V-8 engine is the only important component carried over from the F355, but it has been extensively redesigned. It is one of the very few road-car engines featuring titanium connecting rods. The 180-degree crankshaft has been stroked by 2 mm, increasing the capacity by 90 cc, to 3586 cc. This has helped raise the maximum power by 20 bhp, to 400. Maximum torque was also increased from 267 lb-ft. at 6000 rpm to 275 at 4500, with 90 percent available from 4150 to 8500 rpm.

The engine drives a completely new longitudinal 6-speed gearbox with 3-cone synchromesh on 1st and 2nd gears and 2-cone synchromesh on the upper four gears for effortless and ultra-quick shifts. It comes in two versions. One is manual with the typical Ferrari stick moving in its visible gate; the other is the optional and now well known electrohydraulic F1 automatic or semiautomatic transmission. In the semiautomatic mode, it is operated by twin paddle levers within fingertip reach of the steering wheel. The engine management adapts engine speed to the gear selected and you can hear the engine revving up for a smooth engagement of the lower gear. No need for "heel-and-toeing" anymore.

The suspension seems to be stiffer than the F355's, and on the mountain section, where the roads were far from smooth, the springing felt rather too hard, even for a real sports car like the Ferrari. A larger difference between the Normal and the Sport settings would surely be an advantage, leaving Sport as it is, but making Normal softer.

The new F360 Modena is the most highly developed automotive design in the world. It is the result of years of cumulative work, resulting in this state-of-the-art spectacle which is highly sought-after the world over.

Facts & Figures

Production Numbers Still in Production
Production Period 1999 - Present
Chassis Number Range ?
Body Style 2 seater sports coupe
Construction Closed/open 2 seater (Pininfarina design) - Aluminium space frame and body
Weight Empty 1390 kg
Body Size W : 1922 mm, H : 1214 mm, L : 4477 mm, Wheelbase : 2600 mm, tracks : 1669 mm (F), 1617 mm (R)
Engine Model 90° Aluminium V8
Engine Displacement 3586cc - bore 85 mm, stroke 79 mm
Compression Ratio 11 : 1
Ignition 2 Bosch Motronic ME 7.3 with port fuel injection
Spark Plugs ?
Cooling ?
Lubrication Forced lubrication - dry sump
Clutch ?
Engine Power 400 bhp at 8500 rpm (= 111.5 HP/litre)
Engine Torque 275 lb ft at 4750 rpm (38.0 kgm)
Transmission 6 synchronized gears (Manual or F1-Style)
Reduction Ratios 1st - 3.29, 2nd - 2.16, 3rd - 1.61, 4th - 1.27, 5th - 1.03, 6th - 0.85
Final Drive 4.44 : 1
Fuel Capacity 95 litres
Suspension (Front) Aluminium double wishbone, Sachs electronic adaptive damping, coil springs
Shock Absorbers (Front) ?
Suspension (Rear) Aluminium double wishbone, Sachs electronic adaptive damping, coil springs
Shock Absorbers (Rear) ?
Wheels Speedline, light-alloy, detachable, F : 7.5J x 18, R : 10J x 18
Tyres Pirelli P Zero, F : 215/45 ZR18, R : 275/40 ZR 18
Brakes 4 Brembo vented, cross-drilled discs 330mm, 4-piston callipers
Steering Rack and Pinion with Power Assist (steering radius - 10.8 m)
Electrical System ?
Maximum Speed 189 mph / 304 kph
Acceleration (0-30 mph) 1.6 seconds
Acceleration (0-60 mph) 4.3 seconds
Acceleration (0-100 mph) 10.2 seconds

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