Virtual garage – Ferrari 308 vs 328 GTB

28 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Virtual garage – Ferrari 308 vs 328 GTB
Ferrari 328

Ferrari 308 Vs 328

When the Ferrari 308 made its debut in 1975 it was immediately successful and quickly became the foundation model for the firm. The first 18 months of production of 308 GTBs had bodies made predominantly of glassfibre, but in mid 1977, a switch was made to all metal construction. These days these glassfibre models (GTB only) are in demand because they are lighter (by at least 125 kg) and because their engines are completely unfettered by power sapping exhaust emissions equipment.

After the change to metal bodies the 308 went into decline. At first the carburetor engine kept a healthy quoted output of 255 bhp. (Those were the days when Ferrari could still quote power figures by thinking of a nicely rounded number; it would have been more honest to claim 220bhp or 230bhp.) Early in 1980 Bosch K-Jetronic injection was fitted and the emissions regulations reduced power to 214bhp making the 308 GTBi the slowest car of the series.

By the end of 1981 Ferrari had developed 4 valve heads for the 3 liters V8 and these cars were called 308 GTB/GTS Quattrovalvole. On a new honest rating system the engine gave 240bhp at 7000 rpm. Though this car was heavier than the original glassfibre cars performance was completely restored.

In 1985 came the first major redesign with the 328 GTB/GTS. Engine capacity was increased to 3185cc and power is up to 270bhp making the 328 the fastest of this series of Ferraris. With the new power to weight ratio of 5kg/bhp the 328 was back in the eighties supercar league.

Ferrari 328

On the handling front the 328 is very much reminiscent of its ancestor. It corners neutrally, tending to understeer a little and display hardly any body roll at all as speeds rise. The car just goes around corners and it has the useful facility of tightening its line neatly when you throttle off in mid bend. The old 308 behaves the same way but generates greater slip angles at lower speeds on X tires. The brakes of the 328 are a substantial improvement postponing lockup at the front. The ride of both cars is almost equal with maybe a slight advantage for the older car with its more flexible tire sidewalls.

The metamorphosis of the 308 into the 328 has made the car not only more sensible and practical but also faster and more economical. Though this hardly seems the point in such a car the fact that it is accompanied by substantial performance increase makes the 328 the best and most practical to own.

The Ferrari 308 and 328 are very special cars to me. Their inspired packaging makes them a joy to use, their performance and handling are stimulating and their looks are a supreme Pininfarina achievement.

Ferrari 328
Ferrari 328
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