In late 1980, Ferrari changed the 308 GTB into 308 GTBi, in order to respect the worldwide legislation increasing to reduce exhaust emissions. The "i" suffix in the model designation was referring to the fitment of fuel injection. The model remained into production until 1982, with 494 units produced, with both right and left hand drive available.
Visually the new model was almost identical to the outgoing one, although the casting pattern of the five spoke alloy wheels changed slightly due to the fitment of Michelin TRX metric size radial tires. However, the imperial size Michelin XWX tyres on 14” wheels, or Pirelli P7 tires on 16” wheels were available as an option.
On the interior the bucket seats had a different stitch pattern, whilst the main instruments were maintained in a hooded nacelle in front of the driver, the clock and oil temperature gauge were moved to a panel at the front of the center console to make them more easily visible in a separate panel on the lower left edge of the dashboard.
Under the hood Ferrari placed a transversely mid-mounted aluminum V8 engine with a fuel injection system replacing the quadruple twin choke carburettors fitted to the former. The 2926cc delivered 214bhp for European market models, and 205bhp for US market examples, which were fitted with power sapping emission control equipment.
The European model featured a tubular chassis, disc brakes, with independent suspension via wishbones, coil springs, and hydraulic shock absorbers, were provided all round, with front and rear anti roll bars.