Beginning in 1973, Ferrari introduced the first of its V8-engined road cars, the 308 GT4 badged as a 'Dino' and superseding the preceding Dino V6. It wore wedge-shaped styling by Bertone, rather than the customary Pininfarina, that was not universally well-received, although the 3.0-liter quad-cam V8 engine was highly praised.
Ferrari's second V8 road car, the 308 GTB, was introduced in 1975 at the Paris Salon and signaled a return to Pininfarina styling (by Leonardo Fioravanti) following the Bertone-designed 308GT4. This time it wore 'proper' Ferrari rather than 'Dino' badging. The mechanical components remained mostly unchanged apart from a reduction in both wheelbase and weight, retaining its predecessor's underpinnings and transversely mounted engine that now featured dry-sump lubrication. In road-going guise, the engine delivered 255 horsepower and gave the 308 GTB a top speed in excess of 150 mph.
The bodies were initially formed from glass-reinforced plastic (or GRP), the first time this material had been used for a production Ferrari. After April of 1977, the Scaglietti-built 308 GTB was formed from steel. The GRP-bodied cars weighed 2,315 pounds while the steel-bodied cars increased by approximately 330 pounds. Ongoing development resulted in the introduction of an open-top GTS version with a Targa-style removable roof, the adoption of Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, and, finally, revised cylinder heads with four valves per cylinder on the Quattrovalvole (Qv) model in 1982. The 308s used a tube platform with a 92.1-inch wheelbase, a height of 44.1 inches, a length of 166.5-inches, and a length of 166.5-inches. The engine was transversely mounted in unit with the transaxle transmission assembly, below the rear of the engine's sump. All engines were backed by a fully synchromesh five-speed 'dog-leg' manual gearbox and a clutch-type limited-slip differential. Four-wheel ventilated disc brakes provided the stopping power and steering was handled by unassisted rack-and-pinion. The suspension was independent with anti-roll bars on both axles, double wishbones, coaxial coil springs, and hydraulic dampers.
The standard wheels were five-spoke 14-inch alloy units, while 16-inch wheels became optional later on the 328. Other options included a sports exhaust system, high lift camshaft, and high compression pistons.
The F106 AB V8 engine used twin-choke Weber 40DCNF carburetors and single coil ignition. Due to emission controls, the American versions produced nearly 240 horsepower at 6,600 RPM while unrestricted European versions developed 255 horsepower. European destined vehicles received dry-sump lubrication while the Australian, Japanese, and U.S. market cars used a conventional wet sump lubrication system from the GT4.
The Targa-topped 308 GTS was introduced in 1977 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. In 1980, fuel injection became standard and two years later four valves per cylinder were added, giving Quattrovalvole models 240bhp. The 308 was manufactured in both GTB and GTS forms from 1977 to 1985, before being replaced by the 328.
The Bosch K-Jetronic mechanical fuel injection system improved emissions but at a cost to power, dropping to 211 horsepower on European models and 202 on federalized models. Additionally, the engine received a Marelli MED 803A Digiplex electronic ignition system that incorporated a coil, distributor, and ignition module for each cylinder bank. Although the engine was thoroughly updated, the styling remained identical to the 308 GTB and GTS, albeit for metric-sized wheels with a slightly different design, wrapped with Michelin TRX radial tires. The Michelin XWX on 16-inch wheels was optional. The interiors received minor updates, with a new black steering wheel with three perforated spokes, the oil temperature and clock gauge were moved to the center console, and the seats received a slightly different pattern.
The quattrovalvole (QV) version was introduced in 1982 at the Paris Motor Show, similar to the preceding 308 GTBi and GTSi except for the four valves per cylinder - thus the name 'quattrovalvole' which means 'four valves' in Italian. This four-valve per cylinder configuration brought horsepower back to 240 hp (U.S. specification models had 230 hp and catalytic converters) while complying with modern emission standards. The DOHC 32-valve V8 engine continued to displace 2,927cc with a bore of 81 mm and a stroke of 71 mm. The four multivalves per cylinder configuration prompted changes to the gear and final drive ratios.
While the QV was similar to its predecessor, it was visually distinguishable by the addition of a slim louvered panel in the front lid to help the breathability and air exhaust. Other features included a redesigned radiator grille with rectangular driving lights on each side, power-operated mirrors with a small enamel Ferrari badge, and rectangular side repeaters replacing the prior round versions. The interior received a satin black three-spoke steering wheel with a triangular center, and a standard leather interior with cloth seat centers offered as optional. Additional options included a deep front spoiler, wider wheels, 16-inch Speedline wheels with Pirelli P7 tires, a satin black roof aerofoil, air conditioning, and metallic paint. The black roof was standard on Japanese market models.
The 308 GTB and its many derivatives were very successful for Maranello with over 12,000 examples sold. 3,219 examples were GTS models and 2,897 were GTB models. 808 examples were the lightweight vetroresina (fiberglass) version. 494 GTBi and 1,743 GTSi models were produced prior to the introduction of the 308 Quattrovalvole in 1982. Between 1982 and 1985, Ferrari built 3,042 GTS and 748 GTB examples.
The Ferrari 308 played a starring role in the hit TV series 'Magnum PI' starring Tom Selleck who was frequently seen in the Targa topped GTS.
Ferrari 208 A two-liter version of the 308 was introduced in 1980, mainly for the domestic Italian market where cars with displacements larger than two liters were subjected to higher value-added tax (38 percent instead of the standard 18-percent). A total of 300 examples of the 208 were built, with 160 being GTS and 140 being GTB.
Ferrari 288 GTO Ferrari introduced its 288 GTO in 1984 wearing styling inspired by the European 308 GTB QV with extended wheel arches, a larger rear spoiler, a 5-inch longer wheelbase, central-tubular space frame chassis, different side air vents, and a 2.8-liter V8 with twin-turbochargers. by Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2020
Related Reading : Ferrari 308 GTS History
For the initial 18 months of the 308 GTBs production, fiberglass was predominately used for the bodies, but later switched to all-metal. The fiberglass bodies were around 125 kg lighter. The 308 was capable of producing 255 bhp from its 3 liter, V8, carburetor engine. In 1980, a Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection system was installed due to new emission regulations. This caused the horsepower to.... Continue Reading >>
Related Reading : Ferrari 308 History
The 308 was Ferraris first two-seat V8 road car. Made available to the public in 1975, it was the long awaited successor to the incomparable Dino 246 GT. The 308 series was a new beginning for the company as the premier builder of exotic sports cars for road use. As such, the 308 was designed to epitomize the sports car in its era. It did so admirably, and remains perhaps the most influential enthusiast.... Continue Reading >>
Ferrari introduced their 308 GT4 in 1973, beginning a new era of V8-engined road-going cars. Badged as a 'Dino', the new 308 GT4 2+2 served as a replacement for the preceding Dino V6. They wore wedge-shaped styling courtesy of Bertone which was not u....[continue reading]
Targa Coupe Coachwork: Scaglietti Designer: Pininfarina
This Ferrari 308 GTS is a very high-mileage car, at 205,000 miles, scotching the assumption that the 308 is fragile. It is a red over tan V8 former track car that has been restored and subsequently has won multiple concours events, including the 2006....[continue reading]
Targa Coupe Coachwork: Scaglietti Designer: Pininfarina
Ferrari updated the 308 at the 1982 Paris Motor Show, with the launch of the 308 Quattrovalvole, in GTB and GTS form. The main changes from the outgoing 308 GTBi/GTSi were the 4-valves per cylinder - hence its name, quattrovalvole, which literally me....[continue reading]
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