Ferrari 360 |

5 Jun 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Ferrari 360 |
Ferrari 360

(1999 – 2004)

The Ferrari 360 Modena / Spider was produced between 1999 and 2004. It was available as a Modena coupe or Spider roadster. It’s successor became the Ferrari 430 .

A mid-mounted 3.6 V8 engine powers the Ferrari 360. The car surges to 100 km/h (60 mph) in a little over four seconds thanks to 400 hp at 8500 rpm (425 hp in the Stradale). Despite all that potential, though, it’s remarkably docile, happy to pull from as little as 50 km/h (30 mph) in sixth gear. There’s a choice of conventional lever or steering wheel-mounted paddles for gear shifting.

The grip from the Ferrari 360’s chassis is top drawer and brilliantly balanced through twists and turns. It’s helped by a body that creates F1-style down force to glue the car to the road. The ride is firm in town, but eases off at motorway speeds for long-distance comfort. The Challenge Stradale is sharper all-round and has sensational brakes.

Given its focus on performance and handling, the 360 is Ferrari’s most civilized mid-engined supercar yet. The engine fades into a distant murmur at motorway speed, although there is always the temptation to open the unit up to hear it working at full revs. There is some road rumble, but it falls away to reasonable levels at speed.

Traditionally, Ferraris are not the best at hanging on to their value. The 360 bucks this, although high mileages will certainly bring residuals down fast. Running costs are not helped by the pricey servicing and the time involved. It does have a three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, though.

The days of buying a Ferrari engine and getting the body for free are long gone. Everything is put together with care and attention to detail: the only creaks you’ll hear will be from the leather seats. It needs servicing every 20 000 km (12,000 miles), which is not cheap, and works best when used regularly.

Given the massive cost of buying a 360 and its desirability to thieves no standard deadlocks is a surprise. It does have a tracking device, which only works once the car is stolen. Anti-lock brakes and traction control are standard, as are driver and passenger airbags, but side ‘bags are missing.

A bulging right wheel arch intrudes into the foot well forcing the pedals to be set to the left. There is no driver’s seat height adjust, but side and forward vision is good for a mid-engined supercar. The cabin is trimmed beautifully and errs towards soft-spoken quality rather than overstated flamboyance. The stripped-out Stradale has minimalist racing materials.

Ferrari 360

The Ferrari 360 is more practical, as well as faster, than its predecessor, the 355. There is more space in the cabin for heads, legs and shoulders, making it comfortable for long trips two up. The front boot is fair for a mid-engined car, but won’t take a couple’s holiday luggage.

The biggest choice buyers will have to make is whether to stick with the normal gear change or go for the optional F1 paddle shift system, standard with the Challenge Stradale. This does away with the clutch pedal but keeps a manual gearbox, worked through steering wheel-mounted paddles. It’s pricey but worth it, and all goodies are standard.

Advantages: Three fabulous cars – the Modena coupe, open-top Spider and the Challenge Stradale, a road-going race car. All are surprisingly easy to live with.

Disadvantages: A Ferrari is not cheap to buy or run, and residual values weaken if you use the car regularly.

Verdict: Achingly desirable.

Ferrari 360
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