The 1990s saw a massive economic boom, not just in North America, but all around the world. At the time, many exotic auto manufacturers increased production of new vehicles to keep up with demand. Ferrari was forced to replace the 348 which was produced from 1989 up until 1995. The designer of the 348 was Pininfarina, a leading Italian auto design firm. Ferrari decided to use them once again for the next automobile that would be manufactured.
Ferrari would eventually decide to construct the Ferrari F355, which would be produced from 1994 to 1999. The F355 is seen by many as an evolved version of the 348 mainly because of its similarities to the automobile. For example, both vehicles have a V8 engine, but the F355 produced 375 horsepower compared to the 300 horsepower that the 348 produced. Furthermore, the 348 had a 3.4-liter engine and the F355 had a 3.5-liter power plant.
The F355 underwent many tests to increase air flow into the engine at high speeds and improve its overall aerodynamics. In total, over 1,300 hours of tests were performed on the car which used different means of wind tunnel analysis.
Many other versions of the automobile underwent even more stringent wind tunnel tests. These include the Spider, Berlinetta, and GTS. These versions of the vehicle offered an upgraded transmission, more horsepower, and some upgraded interior options.
The car cost around $100,000 when it first debuted. Many auto aficionados praised the automobile for its design and overall performance. They almost always point out the fact that the car's V8 engine had 5 valves per cylinder which enabled the vehicle to obtain high R.P.M.s (Revolutions Per Minute) compared to the 348, which only had 4 valves per cylinder.
Although the F355 lacked the V12 engine, its V8 powerplant still provided enough power to make the automobile perform superbly. The car can reach a top speed of 183 m.p.h. which can compete with many high-end sports cars.
Some auto enthusiasts have attacked the vehicle solely because of the V8 engine it was equipped with. They feel that all Ferraris should have been built with a 12 cyclinder engine because it ultimatley will make the automobile meet the 200 m.p.h. mark. This is the case for most Lamborghinis and other exotic vehicles. As of today, many Ferrari fans will still defend the vehicle because of how the V8 engine was constructed and its ability to produce a decent amount of horsepower. Many auto experts will compare the Cheverolet Corvette to the F355 because of the simliar engine type and overall top speed. The only diference is that the Corvette tends to be a more suitable vehicle for the price compared to the price tag of the F355.
In 1999, Ferrari introduced a limited production version of the vehicle called the "Serie Fiorano" this limited production vehicle only had 104 units produced in total. The vehicle also had an upgraded suspension system, a Ferrari rear grill, enameled Scuderia Ferrari shields, carbon-fiber inserts, and a suede-covered steering wheel.
There is no doubt that the F355 will always be seen as one of Ferrari's best vehicles. The car was way ahead of its time and offered the driver the full Ferrari experience. Furthermore, the sound of the vehicle would make almost anyone believe that it was powered by a V12 engine.