In 1994 Ferrari unveiled the F355 - a model that remained into production until 1999 and with 11,273 units produced it became the most successful Ferrari in history. The F355 was the first model to be produced under the new leadership of Luca di Montezemolo.
New for the F355 has been the nomenclature: engine capacity plus number of valves per cylinder: 355 = 3.5 liters engine capacity and 5 valves per cylinder (until now it was engine capacity + cylinder number).
The F355 GTS (along with the Berlinetta) was the first model in the series, with a Spider version following in 1995. It featured a hard top that could be stowed away behind the seats. The F355 GTS featured a stress-bearing semi-monocoque steel chassis with variable-section, tubular front and rear sub-frames and electronically controlled suspension. The V8 engine produced a specific power of 109 bhp per liter and, mated to a close-ratio 6-speed gearbox, ensured very high performance.
With the F355 everything was about making it faster and easier to handle. The exterior design - signed again by Pininfarina - got extreme aerodynamic features, but in the same time it featured aesthetically rounded edges combined in beautiful new forms. At the front was a reverse elliptical grille flanked by indicator lenses and supplementary driving lights, F355’s having been the last Ferrari to feature retractable headlights.
On the sides there was a pair of bare air intakes, while at the rear the rear wings were merged masterfully into a tightly wrapped tail and were improving the improving high-speed stability. The Prancing Horse logo was also dominating the car’s rear.
For the ones who wanted an even more sportier F355 Ferrari was also offering a Fiorano handling package that included a dropped ride-height, firmer springs and dampers and wider track. Besides that customers could also choose between a Challenge meshed rear grille, Sports seats with four-point harnesses and from 1997, the F1 transmission.
But maybe the most impressive change on the F355 was the engine. It was a 90° 3,5 liter V8 engine, positioned longitudinally in a mid-mounted configuration, with five valve cylinder heads. The engine developed a total of 380bhp at 8250rpm, or 109bhp per liter. With a weight of only 1350 kg, the F355 sprinted from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds, with a top speed of 185mph. The F355 was 7 seconds faster round Fiorano than the 348 and a 4 quicker than the 512 TR.