|Ferrari 208/308 GT4 2+2|
|Designer||Marcello Gandini at Bertone|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2+2 coupé|
|Related||208/308 GTB & GTS|
|Engine||3.0 L V8 (308 GT4)
2.0 L V8 (208 GT4)
The Ferrari 308 GT4 and 208 GT4 were mid-engined V8-powered 2+2 cars built by Ferrari. The 308 GT4 was introduced in 1973, supplemented by the 208 GT4 in 1975, and replaced by the Mondial 8 in 1980 after a production run of 2,826 vehicles. It was sold with "Dino" badging (continuing the Dino brand to differentiate non-V12s) until May 1976, when all badging was replaced with "Ferrari" badging.
The 308 GT4 2+2 was a groundbreaking model for Ferrari in several ways: It was the first production Ferrari to feature the mid-engined V8 layout that would become the bulk of the company's business in the succeeding decades, and was the first production Ferrari to feature Bertone (rather than Pininfarina) bodywork. Pininfarina was upset by the decision to give cross-town rival Bertone the design, considering all they had done for Ferrari.
The Dino 308 GT4 was introduced at the Paris Motor Show in November 1973 and featured angular lines entirely different from its curvaceous 2-seater brother, the Dino 246, and later brother, the GTB & GTS. The styling was controversial at the time, with some journalists comparing it to the Bertone-designed Lancia Stratos and Lamborghini Urraco, which were also designed by Marcello Gandini along with the Lamborghini Miura and Countach. The 308 GT4 finally gained the "Prancing Horse" badge in May 1976, which replaced the Dino badges on the hood, wheels, rear panel and the steering wheel. This has caused major confusion over the years by owners, enthusiasts and judges. During the energy crisis at that time many prospective owners were hesitant to buy such an expensive automobile not badged "Ferrari" being confused at the significance of the Dino name. Dino was Enzo Ferrari's beloved son who passed tragically in 1956 and his name was considered to honor his memory on the models it was placed.
In an effort to improve sales until the 1976 official re-badging, Ferrari sent out factory update # 265/1 on July 1, 1975 with technical and cosmetic revisions in many areas. Some of these revisions were implemented piecemeal by dealers. Some made all the revisions while some just made a few. This leaves many 1975 GT4's with a variety of modifications which are hard to document as "correct" to aficionados who may not understand the complicated series of events surrounding this model year. Some of the revisions included; adding the prancing horse badges mentioned above, but also, repainting using the boxer paint scheme (lower half painted matte black), air conditioning fixes, etc. It also included bumper modification and exhaust changes for North American versions. It should be noted that the Dino 308 GT4 was the only Ferrari legally imported to the US in 1975, and it was also the year Niki Lauda won the Formula One drivers championship and Ferrari won the constructors title.
The chassis was based on the Dino 246 but was stretched for a 2,550 mm (100.4 in) wheelbase to make room for the second row of seats. The suspension was fully independent and the V8 was mounted transversely. The GT4 was the only 2+2 Ferrari ever raced with factory support. It was the first V8 production Ferrari and the only production Ferrari designed by Bertone. The design has many very elegant lines that are exceptionally pleasant on closer inspection; such as the air intakes for the carburetors and oil cooler, the frontal and overhead view. The actual view of the instrument cluster is one of Ferrari's finest. Niki Lauda helped set up and tune the suspension, Enzo Ferrari took a major role in its design, even having a mock-up made where he could sit in the car to test different steering, pedals and cockpit seating positioning. From the cockpit the driver sees only the road. It has perfect 360 degree visibility, no blind spots, upright and comfortable seating position, a real trunk, a back seat for soft luggage, and very easy engine access.
The 3.0 L (2927 cc) V8 was integrally joined with the gearbox and produced 255 hp (190 kW) in the European version and 240 hp (179 kW) in the American; it had an alloy block and heads with dual overhead camshafts driven by toothed belts. The induction system had 4 Weber 40 DCNF carburetors.
The 308 GT4 had a total length of 170.1 inches, and a wheelbase of 100.4 inches and weighed 3035 pounds; height was 46.5 inches and width was 70.9 inches. 2,826 308 GT4 coupes were produced between 1973 and 1980. There were 2 series of GT4. The earlier cars featured a twin distributor engine and foglamps mounted in the front valance. Later cars had a single distributor engine, with foglamps mounted behind the front grille.
It is also one of the cheaper second-hand Ferrari models - there was a 'limited budget' show about it in Wheeler Dealers, and a Top Gear Challenge featuring a 308 and its contemporaries. A yellow 308GT4 was bought by presenter Richard Hammond, and it was driven with a Maserati Merak and a Lamborghini Urraco as part of their cheap supercars challenge. All of the cars were in poor condition, and after about 50 miles of driving, all of the Ferrari's engine electronics failed; and the other two cars proved to be unreliable as well and did not complete the challenge.
Introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in 1975, the 208 GT4 2+2 was a low-displacement version of the V8 produced for the Italian market where there was a tax break on cars under 2 litres. The engine was de-bored to (66.8x71 mm) 2.0 L (1991 cc) V8, resulting in the smallest production V8 in history for a road car.
Power output was 170 hp (127 kW) at 7,700 rpm for a top speed of 137 mph (220 km/h). Smaller Weber 34 DCNF carburetors, a lower final drive ratio and skinnier tires completed the technical changes for the 208. Chrome (rather than black) accents outside and the lack of fog lights were external visual indicators of the smaller-engined GT4. Inside the 208 GT4 featured a black rather than silver dash facing.
The 208 GTB replaced the 208 GT4 in 1980.
- "Designer". ajovalo.net. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
- "Top Gear - Episode Archive - Series 7". BBC. 2000-12-31. Retrieved 2009-10-20.
- Buckley, Martin & Rees, Chris (1998). World Encyclopedia of Cars. London: Anness Publishing. ISBN 1-84038-083-7.
- "Ferrari Dino 308 GT4". enthusiast site. Retrieved November 24, 2006.
- Ferrari Dino - The Complete Story by Anthony Curtis. Crowood-Autoclassics Publishing
- Covello, Mike (2003). Standard Catalog of Ferrari 1947-2003. Lola, WI, USA: Krause Publications. ISBN 0-87349-497-0.
|Dino, a marque of Ferrari S.p.A., car timeline, 1958–1980|
|6 cylinder||Mid-engine berlinetta||206 GT||246 GT|
|Mid-engine spider||246 GTS|
|8 cylinder||Mid-engine 2+2||308 GT4|
|Sports prototype||196 S||246 S||166 P||206 S|
|296 S||206 SP|
|Ferrari after 1976 Sold as|
|« previous — Ferrari road car timeline, 1960s–1990s — next »|
|8 cylinder||Mid-engine berlinetta||308||308i||308 QV||328||348||360|
|208||208 Turbo||GTB/GTS Turbo||F355|
|Mid-engine 2+2||308 GT4||Mondial 8||Mondial QV||3.2 Mondial||Mondial t|
|12 cylinder||Boxer berlinetta||365BB||512 BB||512i BB||Testarossa||512TR||F512M|
|Grand tourer||250||275||365 GTB/4
|2+2 coupé||250 GT/E||330 GT 2+2||365 GT 2+2||365
|365 GT4 2+2||400||400i||412||456||456 M|
|Supercar||250 GTO||250 LM||288
|Dino marque until 1976; see also Dino car timeline Sold under the|