Ferrari 360 Modena, 360 Spider / News & Reports / Motoring / Web Wombat

20 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Ferrari 360 Modena, 360 Spider / News & Reports / Motoring / Web Wombat

Ferrari 360 Modena

Ferrari’s 3.6-litre V8 engine revs to 8500rpm

Lots of old-school biege leather: Very Ferrari

Ferrari’s stranglehold on the Formula One circuit appears to have eased in early 2003, which has to be a good thing for the sport.

Predictable racing is just not entertaining, and falling audiences proved this point in the 2002 season.

But, at the other end of its motoring empire, Ferrari’s road-going motor vehicle production hasn’t waned one iota.

And, while the purists will swear that the Prancing Horse is no longer a ‘true’ exotic marque, what with Fiat’s takeover in 1988, performance figures, handling characteristics and enthusiastic owners beg to differ.

Ferrari has always been in the upper echelons of vehicle production, and the 360 Modena is a good example of why: It makes the most of a range of technology inspired by the its advances in F1, the end result being a car that’s not only fast in a straight line, but extremely quick through the twisty stuff too.

First released as a year 2000 model in late 1999, the 360 still commands a great deal of respect. Lamborghini has just finished work on its Gallardo. which is aimed squarely at the same customer base who would consider the 360.

As far the 1999 design cues go, the 360 Modena is still an amazingly pretty car to look today.

With just the right amount of curvature, bulging rear quarter panels and well-proportioned overhangs, the look is unmistakable.


Even the air-intakes look great, with two located below the doors to cool the brakes and another pair sitting high on the rear quarters feeding the engine.

The front end gets massive air dams and sleek, wind-cheating headlight covers, while at the rear quad exhausts flank a rather handsome baby-diffuser, and those tail lights are simply works of art.

The 360 Modena is different to the traditional exotic in that it is one of the first Ferrari’s to offer more practicality.

While it’ll still get you down to the corner shop in less time than it takes to say That’s expensive insurance, the 360 Modena incorporates ergonomics that would have been ridiculed in earlier models (ie. seats with padding), and even offers basic amounts of interior space for luggage and a golf bag.

Sure, you don’t buy a Modena 360 to do the weeks shopping or pick up some lumber, but at least now the things can be driven daily.

The 360 Modena gets its name from the 3.6-litre engine sitting in the mid-mount position, just behind the driver and slightly in front of the rear axle.

Styled by Pininfarina, the 360 Modena sits on traditionally-styled five-spoke, 18-inch alloys, with fairly tame 215/45ZR tyres up front, while ultra-wide 275/40ZRs at the rear help deliver a more powerful message.

Together with its mid-mounted engine and aluminium body contruction, the 360 is prone to minimal oversteer and offers up a a highly flexible handling package with a low centre of gravity.

One of the more prominent and most impressive features of the 360 Modena is its drive train, and the splendid fashion in which in the vehicle puts power to the ground.

Not surprisingly, the 3.6-litre V8 makes up much of this, but power delivery is also important in this respect, and both it’s traditional close ratio, slick shifting six-speed manual and new-age six-speed F1-inspired tiptronic transmissions play a big part.

The 360 Modena sprints from 0-100km/h in a neck-snapping 4.4 seconds, and will cover 1 kilometre in just under 23 seconds, all courtesy of its screaming V8 mill.

Unlike the usual big-bore eights we get locally – such as Holden’s 5.7-litre brute and Ford’s more sopisticated, yet no-less maniacal 5.4-litre job – Ferrari’s smaller mill makes extremely efficient use of its 3586cc capacity.

Firstly, the engine gets five valves per cylinder, 3 intake, 2 exhaust. The latter get variable valve timing, while variable-length intake manifolds help keep torque levels healthy, right across the rev range.

Thanks to a high compression ratio of 11:1, plus bore and stroke of 85mm and 79mm respectively, the V8 will rev happily to 8500rpm, where peak power of 295kW occurs.

And while peak power is ludicrously high, peak torque of 373Nm kicks in @ 4750rpm, offering one massively usable powerband.

It can clock a 12.8 second quarter mile run given ideal conditions and thanks to its wind-tunnel tested aerodynamics, the 360 Modena will punt along at a max. speed of about 304km/h, possibly more going down a hill, with a tail-wind. Sadly though, up-to-date radar detectors aren’t included.

Going fast on the drag strip is one thing, but the 360 also corners with aplomb.

Sitting on dual aluminium wishbones front and rear — fully adjustable settings, mind you — the suspension setup also incorporates an electronic control system that takes bugger-all time (0.04 seconds, to be precise) to eliminate body roll and pitch.

Superb braking is also part of the package, with 330mm ventilated, cross-drilled discs front and rear, shrouded by large hydraulically actuated two-pot aluminium calipers.

At present there are four models in the Ferrari 360 Modena range, Berlinetta and F1 coupes, plus Berlinetta and F1 Spiders. The Berlinetta is basically the six-speed manual variant, the F1 getting the paddle-shifts.

While the 360 Modena isn’t the newest exotic on the block, it’s still one of the most popular, and for good reason. Badge value counts for a lot in such company, but its sheer athleticism means the 360 is just as at home on the track as it is in the concrete jungle.

The going price for a used 360 Modena is roughly $325,000-$350,000, dependent on build year and kilometres. Brand newies start at about $370,000 and rise into the low $400k bracket for the drop-top F1 Spider models.

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