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.
The Ferrari Mondial 8 featured a wedge body shape theme with the radiator grille beneath the front bumper. A wrap-around black plastic assembly was incorporating driving, side and indicator light units at the front, with a similar assembly at the rear.
The front design was continued with large trapezoidal air intake grilles for the engine bay on the body sides behind the doors. This was particularly so on very early examples where they were painted satin black rather than body color, making their presence even more obvious, especially on light colored bodywork.
On the interior there were four bucket seats, those at the rear separated by a large central armrest with an elasticated oddment pocket above it. The main instruments and switches were contained in a horizontal rectangular nacelle in the dash top in front of the driver, with ancillary switches in the center console between the seats to the rear of the open gear change gate. Air-conditioning was standard with climate control for both the driver and passenger.
Under the hood there was a V8 engine in a 90 degree configuration, with belt driven twin overhead camshafts per bank, having a total capacity of 2926cc, with a bore and stroke of 81mm x 71mm, featuring wet sump lubrication. Mondial is the the first new Ferrari introduced with fuel injection instead of carbs (Bosch K-Jetronic).
For the European model, the V8 engine delivered 214bhp at 6600rpm, while the US version only got a maximum power of 205bhp at the same 6600rpm. With a weight of 1445 kg, the Mondial 8 could hit a top speed of 142 mph.