Ferrari Mondial

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Ferrari Mondial
Red Ferrari Mondial Cabrio.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Ferrari
Production 1980–1993
6,149 produced
Model years 1981-1993
Assembly Modena, Italy
Designer Pininfarina
Body and chassis
Class Mid-engined sports car
Body style 2+2 coupe
2+2 cabriolet
Related Ferrari 208/308 GTB & GTS
Ferrari 328
Ferrari 348
Chronology
Predecessor Ferrari 208/308 GT4

The Ferrari Mondial is a 2+2 coupe automobile produced by Ferrari from 1980 through 1993. It replaced the angular 208/308 GT4. The "Mondial" name came from Ferrari's history — the famed 500 Mondial race car of the early 1950s. Despite its predecessor being Bertone styled, the Mondial saw Ferrari return to Pininfarina for styling. It was sold as a mid-sized coupe and, eventually, a cabriolet. The Mondial was conceived as a 'usable' model, offering the practicality of four seats and the performance of a Ferrari. The car had a slightly higher roofline than its stablemates, with a single long door either side, offering easy access and good interior space, reasonable rear legroom, while all-round visibility was excellent.

History[edit]

The Mondial was produced in fairly high numbers for a Ferrari, with more than 6,100 produced in its 13-year run, and was one of Ferrari's most commercially successful models. The car body was not built as a monocoque in the same way as a conventional car; the steel outer body was produced by the famous Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Scaglietti, just down the road in nearby Modena, built over a lightweight steel box-section space frame. The engine cover and rear luggage compartment lids are in light alloy. The seats and interior were trimmed in Connolly hide, contrasting with the body color. Most cars were painted rosso red, but some were black or silver, and a few were dark blue.

The Mondial was the first Ferrari car where the entire engine/gearbox/rear suspension assembly was mounted on a detachable steel subframe, making engine removal for a major rebuild or cylinder head removal much easier than it was on previous models. Unusually, the handbrake is situated between the driver's seat and the inner sill. Once the handbrake is set it drops down so as not to impede egress and ingress. Instead of the conventional "H" shift pattern, the gearbox has 1st gear situated in a "dog leg" to the left and back, behind reverse. This pattern allows quicker gear shifts between 2nd and 3rd gear, and also between 4th and 5th.

The Mondial had undergone many updates throughout is production life cycle. There were four distinct iterations (8, QV, 3.2, and t), with the latter 3 having two variations each. (coupe and cabriolet)

Starting with the 1980-1982 Mondial 8, what was intended to be an entry-level performance vehicle within the Ferrari lineup, proved to be a disappointment to some Ferrari enthusiasts. The car was plagued with major mechanical and reliability issues, and was powered by a relatively weak 214 horsepower engine. Safety requirements also forced Ferrari to install large black colored bumpers which some felt was awkward in design. Time magazine went on to include the Mondial 8 as one of the 50 worst cars of all time, as well as being nominated for the Top Gear search of the Worst Car In The World. Much of the stigma bestowed upon later Mondials can be traced to this initial model.

Ferrari quickly remedied the situation by upgrading the engine just two years later with a new four-valve head. This model is the Mondial Quattrovalvole or QV. A new cabriolet version was also introduced that would be carried forward to the two subsequent models. These models would be produced between 1982-1985.

The next evolution would be the Mondial 3.2, which saw the engine grow in power (266HP) and styling refreshed. This car enjoys much popularity due to one of the last Ferrari to have the relatively reliable and approachable maintenance 328 drivetrain.

The final model, the Mondial t was the biggest change for the model. With a larger engine (300HP), a much substantial update to styling, interior ergonomics and a completely different engine layout.


Mondial 8[edit]

Mondial 8
Ferrari Mondial 8 RB.jpg
Overview
Production 1980–1982
Body and chassis
Body style 2+2 coupe
Powertrain
Engine 3.0 L Tipo F106B FI V8
Transmission 5-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,650 mm (104 in)
Length 4,580 mm (180 in)
Width 1,790 mm (70 in)
Height 1,250 mm (49 in)
Curb weight 1,445 kg (3,186 lb)

The Mondial was introduced as the Mondial 8 at the 1980 Geneva Auto Salon.[1] It was the first Ferrari to depart from the company's familiar 3-digit naming scheme and was fairly mild, relative to other Ferraris, in terms of performance, drawing criticism from the motoring press.[1] It used a mid/rear-mounted Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection V8, shared with the 308 GTBi/GTSi, mounted transversely. The engine was originally used in the 1973 Dino 308 GT4. The K-Jetronic system is mechanical, with a high-pressure pump which streams fuel continuously to the injectors; it does not have a computer, just a few relays to handle the cold start sequence etc. The chassis was also based on the 308 GT4, but with a 100-millimetre-longer (3.9 in) wheelbase at 2,650 mm (104.3 in). The suspension was the classic layout of unequal-length double wishbones and Koni dampers all around.

The Mondial 8 is considered one of the marque's most "practical" vehicles, due to its 214 hp (160 kW), proven drivetrain, four seats, and relatively low cost of maintenance (major services can be performed without removing the entire engine/transmission subframe). 703 examples were made.

Mondial Quattrovalvole[edit]

Mondial QV (Quattrovalvole)
Classic Show Brno 2011 (084).jpg
Overview
Production 1982–1985
Body and chassis
Body style 2+2 coupe
2+2 cabriolet
Powertrain
Engine 3.0 L Tipo F105A 32V V8
Transmission 5-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,650 mm (104 in)
Length 4,580 mm (180 in)
Width 1,790 mm (70 in)
Height 1,260 mm (50 in)
Curb weight 1,430 kg (3,153 lb)

The first Mondial engine, although a DOHC design, used just two valves per cylinder. The 1982 Quattrovalvole or QV introduced a new four-valve head, the combustion chamber design was purportedly based on the early eighties Formula 1 engine. Again, the engine was shared with the contemporary 308 GTB/GTS QV, and produced a much more respectable 240 hp (179 kW). Appearance was largely as per the Mondial 8, although with red engine heads and prominent "quattrovalvole" script at the rear. 1,145 coupés were built between 1982 and 1985.

Mondial Cabriolet[edit]

A new Cabriolet bodystyle was added for 1983. Body styling remained the same as the coupé variant, with the roof maintaining the 'buttress' design of the roof, though the Cabriolet required the rear seats to be mounted closer together laterally. The introduction of the Cabriolet saw the popularity of the Mondial rise, particularly in the American market, where the convertible body style was highly desirable. The Cabriolet has the added distinction of being the only four-seat, mid-rear engine, convertible automobile ever manufactured in regular production. 629 units were produced between 1983 and 1985, making this the rarest version of the Mondial.

3.2 Mondial[edit]

3.2 Mondial
Ferrari Mondial red vr EMS.jpg
Overview
Production 1985–1989
Body and chassis
Body style 2+2 coupe
2+2 cabriolet
Powertrain
Engine 3.2 L Tipo F105C 4v V8
Transmission 5-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,650 mm (104 in)
Length 4,535 mm (179 in)
Width 1,795 mm (71 in)
Height 1,235 mm (49 in)
1,265 mm (50 in) (Cabriolet)
Curb weight 1,410 kg (3,109 lb)
1,400 kg (3,086 lb) (Cabriolet)

Like the new Ferrari 328, the Mondial's engine grew in both bore and stroke to 3.2 L (3,185 cc) in 1985. Output was now 270 PS (199 kW; 266 hp). The Mondial 3.2 was first presented at the 1985 Frankfurt Auto Show in September that year.[2]

Ferrari Mondial 3.2 Cabriolet

Available in both Coupé and Cabriolet forms, styling was refreshed with restyled and body-coloured bumpers, similar to the 328 with more integrated indicators and driving lamps, and new alloy wheels with a more rounded face. The 3.2 also boasted a major interior update, with a more ergonomic layout and a more rounded instrument binnacle. Later cars, from 1987 onwards, also sported ABS brakes. Fuel injection remained the primarily mechanical Bosch K-Jetronic (CIS) with an O2 sensor in the exhaust providing feedback to a simple computer for mixture trimming via a pulse modulated frequency valve that regulated control fuel pressure. Ignition system was Marelli Microplex, with electronic advance control and one distributor per bank of the V8. The 1988 Mondial 3.2 would be the final model year that retained the relatively low maintenance costs of the 308/328 drivetrain, allowing major service items like timing belt and clutch replacement to be performed with the engine/transmission package still in the car.

From 1985 to 1989 Ferrari produced 987 coupés and 810 cabriolets.

Mondial t[edit]

Mondial t
Mondial t 1.jpg
Overview
Production 1989–1993
Body and chassis
Body style 2+2 coupe
2+2 cabriolet
Powertrain
Engine 3.4 L Tipo F119DL V8
3.4 L Tipo F119G V8
Transmission 5-speed manual
Valeo auto-manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,650 mm (104 in)
Length 4,535 mm (179 in)
Width 1,810 mm (71 in)
Height 1,235 mm (49 in)
Curb weight 1,426 kg (3,144 lb)
1,468 kg (3,236 lb) (Cabriolet)

The final Mondial evolution was 1989's Mondial t (Coupe and Cabriolet). It was a substantially changed model, "spearhead of a new generation of V8 Ferraris", according to Road & Track magazine. It was visually different from preceding Mondial models, the most recognisable being the redesign of the air intakes to a smaller, neater rectangular shape. Additionally, the door-handles were of a visually different design and the bumpers became body coloured.

Mondial t coupe.

The 't' called attention to the car's new engine/transmission layout: the previously-transverse engine was now mounted longitudinally whilst the gearbox remained transverse, thus forming a 't'. By adopting this layout, a longer engine could be mounted lower in the chassis, improving handling dramatically. The 't' configuration was used by Ferrari's Formula One cars of the 1980s, and would be the standard for the marque's future mid-engined V8 cars, beginning with the 348, introduced later in the year. The transverse manual gearbox was fitted with a Limited Slip Differential with a twin-plate clutch design with bevel gears driving the wheels. Later in production, a Semi-automatic transmission termed "Valeo" was available as an option; while shifting was by means of a traditional gear lever, the clutch was actuated automatically without a clutch pedal. The engine was up to 3.4 L (3405 cc) and 300 hp (224 kW). The engine was now controlled by Bosch Motronic DME 2.5 (later DME 2.7) electronic engine management that integrated EFI and ignition control into a single computer unit. Two of these were used in the car: one for each bank of the engine. Engine lubrication was upgraded to a dry-sump system.

The Mondial's chassis would underpin a new generation of 2-seat Ferraris, right up to the 360, but the 2+2 Mondial would end production just four and a half years later in 1993. However, the "t" layout of the engine and transaxle, adapted from Ferrari's Formula One cars, continues to be used in mid-engined V8 model Ferraris to date, albeit with a more sophisticated chassis. The new layout saw the engine and transmission mounted on a removable subframe; the assembly could be removed through the underside of the vehicle for maintenance. This is necessary for timing belt replacement, making this a costly procedure for the owner who does not have a lift. On the other hand, the clutch was now located at the very rear of the drive train. This makes clutch replacement and service a simple, inexpensive, and readily owner-doable proposition.

The "t" was home to other Ferrari firsts: It used power assisted steering for the first time, and had a 3-position electronically controlled suspension for a variable trade off between ride quality and road holding. It also had standard ABS.

The Mondial t represented the most substantial upgrade to the Mondial model line in performance and handling since its introduction in 1980. Previous Mondials had rarely justified their price premium over the competition in terms of bare performance statistics, which led to some poor press coverage. The "t" offered greater performance whilst retaining a mid-engined layout and a practical packaging layout, and was more favorably received. It also had the advantage of two usable rear seats.

The company has not produced a mid-engined 2+2 car since then, leaving the 2+2 configuration to the more classic front-engined design starting with the 456 in 1992. As of 2012, the V12 FF along with the V8 California are the company's only 4-seat vehicle offerings, but both of these are front engined, leaving the Mondial t as the most modern 4-seat, mid-engined, Ferrari yet produced.

Between 1989 and 1993 Ferrari produced 858 coupés and 1,017 cabriolets.

PPG Pace Car[edit]

The Mondial based Ferrari PPG Pace Car was built exclusively for PPG Industries to use as a safety car for the PPG Indy Car World Series as part of its pace car program. Built by Ferrari under the design of I.DE.A Institute at a cost of approximately $1 million, it was introduced at the 1989 Champion Spark Plugs 300 in Laguna Seca.[3]

In 2004, one of its examples was offered at a Christie's auction held during the 2004 24 Hours of Le Mans, where it was sold for €70,500.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bluemel, Kieth. Mondial The Affordable Ferrari? (Magazine scan). Unique Motor Books. p. 54. ISBN 978-1-84155-584-3. 
  2. ^ Büschi, Hans-Ulrich, ed. (8 March 1990). Automobil Revue 1990 (in German/French) 85. Berne, Switzerland: Hallwag AG. p. 262. ISBN 3-444-00495-8. 
  3. ^ a b "Ferrari Mondial T 'Speciale' Pace Car | Christie'S". Christies.com. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  • Buckley, Martin & Rees, Chris (1998). World Encyclopedia of Cars. London: Anness Publishing. ISBN 1-84038-083-7.