The F355 corrected all the faults of the 348, becoming one of the most sought-after Ferrari berlinettas. But its maintenance is tricky.
If the F355 looks like the 348, it differs profoundly. Everything has been reviewed! Starting with the engine. The V8 gains 90 cm3 (3.5 l now), cylinder heads with 5 valves per cylinder as well as titanium connecting rods, and develops 380 hp, which is still an increase of 60 hp compared to the 3.4 l of the 348 GTB. For its part, the box benefits from a 6th report, the direction of an assistance and the suspension of a controlled damping. But that’s not all: aerodynamics have been the subject of particular care, the 355 adopting a flat bottom balancing the downforce between the axles, to the benefit of stability at high speed. An important point on a car capable of 295 km / h! In addition, Luca di Montezemolo, boss of Ferrari since 1991, banged his fist on the table to improve the quality of his models. And the 355 is where this progression began.
In any case, it was very well received when it was released in 1994 in Geneva, if only for its aesthetics: it got rid of these streaks so criticized on the 348. Billed at €735,000 (i.e. €156,500 today), the 355 was an immediate success. She deserved because she manages to be more efficient than her predecessor, much more efficient but also easier to drive at the limit. Its direction and its damping remove some feedback, but nothing prohibitive. First presented as a coupé and a targa, it was available as a Spider from 1995 then gained an F1 robotic gearbox option in 1997 (rather slow). It then evolved only in detail and bowed out in 1999, replaced by the 360 Modena. The last hundred Spiders are called Fiorano and benefit from the Fiorano Handling Package option. They are distinguished by therefore benefit from a more direct direction, new damping laws, a firmer suspension, optimized brakes and thicker anti-roll bars, to which they add widened tracks. Intended for the USA, the Fiorano would only exist in three units in Europe: pure collectors! In total, 355s were made in 11,373 units, of which approximately 45% Coupes, 36% GTSs and 19% Spiders, with the manual accounting for 75% of sales.
How much does it cost ?
It was long believed that the rating of the 355 would fly away, but the high production figure prevents it. The bulk of the market evolves, whatever the bodywork and the box, between 60 and 70,000 €, for kilometers over 50,000. Below, prices rise, sometimes unreasonably. On the other hand, paying more for a very rare copy equipped with the Fiorano Handling Package makes sense… but still count more than 120,000 €.
Which version to choose?
It’s first a matter of taste but also a question of wallet, even if the robotic box has reliability issues. Overall, despite its increased quality, the 355 costs more to maintain than a 348 because it is more complex. If the mechanics are robust, the collectors crack, the electronics pose a lot of problems, while the paint cracks at the rear pillar/wing junction. The robotic gearbox also has reliability issues.