In 1980 at the Geneva Salon, Ferrari replaced the 308 GT4 with the Mondial 8 - Ferrari’s second attempt at producing a mid-engined coupe with a 2+2 configuration. The "Mondial" name came from Ferrari’s history — the famed 500 Mondial race car of the early 1950s, whilst the figure "8" was for the number of cylinders in the engine.
The car was into production until 1982 with a total of 703 units made, in both left and right hand drive form, with variations to the basic specification for various world markets, the most obvious of these being the side marker lights on the body sides for USA market cars.
The new Mondial was the work of Pininfarina, and it was larger in virtually every area, apart from engine size, than its predecessor. The cabin was certainly roomier and lighter than that of the 308 GT4, but then it should have been as the wheelbase had been increased by 100mm, whilst the front and rear tracks had grown by 35mm and 57mm respectively. The larger body added to the mass of the car by some 144 kg, which coupled to the fuel injection system resulted in somewhat leisurely performance in comparison to the 308 GT4.
In 1985 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Ferrari added the fourth model in the Mondial line-up: the 3.2 Mondial (after Mondial 8, Mondial Cabriolet and Mondial Quattrovalvole). Available in both coupe and convertible versions, the 3.2 Mondial stood into production until 1989 with 810 units, in both right and left hand drive configurations, together with various world market specifications.
The 3.2 in the model title referred purely to the cubic capacity of the engine in liters. This model saw the first change in the body styling, with revised front and rear ends incorporating smooth body color bumper assemblies, and a radiator grille with front lights.
The hood on the cabriolet continued with the same design theme of its predecessor, echoing the shape of the coupe’s buttresses at the rear.
The last of the Mondial series was revealed in 1989. Called Mondial T it was the most heavily revised Mondial, with letter "T" inspired by the F1 312 T single-seater, which had just won the Formula 1 World Championship and also used the longitudinal engine/transverse gearbox layout: the previously-transverse engine was now mounted longitudinally whilst the gearbox remained transverse, thus forming a ’t’.
Production last between 1983 to 1993, with 858 units produced in both right and left hand drive configurations, together with various world market specification models.
The new Mondial T was finally worthing the "Ferrari" name and was able to compete with supercars such as the BMW 850i, Chevrolet Corvette, Honda NSX, Lotus Esprit and Porsche 911 Carrera.
Besides using a longitudinal engine/transverse gearbox layout, Mondial T was also offering for the first time: power assisted steering, and had a 3-position electronically controlled suspension for a variable trade off between ride quality and road holding. It also had standard ABS.
The third model in the Mondial line-up was the 3.2 Mondial unveiled in 1985 at the Frankfurt Salon. It was called 3.2 as a reference to the cubic capacity of the engine in liters. The car remained into production until 1989, with a total of 987 units produced, with both right and left hand drive available, together with various world market specification models.
This model saw the first change in the body styling: restyled and body-coloured bumpers, similar to the 328 with more integrated indicators & driving lamps, and new wheels with a more rounded face. The body shape remained otherwise unaltered from its predecessor, although once again the interior detailing was revamped, the most noticeable being angled top corners to the instrument nacelle.
A leather dashboard and/or headlining was available as an option. The five spoke road wheel pattern changed from a flat spoke design to a convex spoke layout to accommodate negative offset suspension geometry for the optional ABS braking system, which would eventually become standard equipment.
In 1989, at the same time as the coupe version, Ferrari also revealed the Cabriolet version of the Mondial T, the fourth and last model in the Mondial line-up. Like tis coupe brother, the T Cabriolet stayed into production until 1993, with 1017 units produced, in both right and left hand drive versions, together with various world market specification models.
The engine capacity increased to 3.4 liters (up from 3.2 liters in the Mondial 3.2) and it became longitudinally mounted, instead of transversely on the previous models. It was coupled to a transverse gearbox, hence the letter "t" in the model designation, and had an ABS braking system as standard equipment, whilst the front and rear tracks increased by 2mm and 50mm respectively.
The new T model was visually different from preceding Mondial models, the most recognizable being the redesign of the air intakes to a smaller, neater rectangular shape. The door-handles were of a visually different design and, along with the bumpers, became body colored, whilst a painted black band was added around the bottom of the body.
In September 1983 Ferrari previewed a convertible version of the Mondial Quattrovalvole, the drop top four valver was soon followed up with a production version in January 1984 at the Brussels Salon. This model was aimed specifically at the sunny climates of the American west coast, but European models were also produced. The Mondial Cabriolet stayed into production until 1985, during which time 629 examples were produced, in both right and left hand drive versions.
The exterior design was the same as for the Mondial Quattrovalvole coupe version: same wedge body shape with the radiator grille beneath the front bumper. Apart from the folding canvas roof, the overall shape was identical to the sister model, including the black plastic wrap around bumpers front and rear, together with the large trapezoidal air intake grilles for the engine bay on the body sides behind the doors, and paired circular rear light assemblies, with Mondial Cabriolet badging to the tail panel.
It featured the same extended center console with the ventilation controls incorporated into it, and the radio forward of the gear change as the coupe. Similarly the door panels and steering wheel were identical to the coupe version. The rear seats of the cabriolet were closer together than on the coupe, to allow for stowage of the hood assembly, and the headrests were omitted. The hood was provided with a matching canvas cover when in the lowered position, with a leather cover available as an option.
In 1982 at the Geneva Auto Show, Ferrari replaced the Mondial 8 with an even more powerful version, the Mondial Quattrovalvole. The "Quattrovalvole" name referred to the 4 (quattro) valve per cylinder engine that increased the engine power, but also made it easier to comply with US emissions legislation. The car was produced between 1982 and 1985, during which time 1145 examples were produced, in both right and left hand drive versions, together with various world market specification models.
The Mondial Quattrovalvole featured a wedge body shape theme with the radiator grille beneath the front bumper. The overall shape was identical to the preceding model, including the black plastic wrap around bumpers front and rear, together with the large trapezoidal air intake grilles for the engine bay on the body sides behind the doors, and paired circular rear light assemblies.
Although the exterior remained unchanged, apart from the replacement of the Mondial 8 badge with Mondial Quattovalvole badging to the tail panel, the interior was lightly modified, mainly in respect of the center console layout.