Ferrari 328 – Evolution of the 308 Platform
The Ferrari 328 built upon the successful 308/328 GTB and GTS models by bringing additional power, handling, and refinement to Ferrari’s V8-powered 2-seat sports car. Produced from 1985 to 1989, the 328 represented an evolution of the popular 308 rather than a full redesign. Upgrades focused on optimizing power delivery, suspension compliance, and aerodynamics while retaining the familiar styling themes. As the final 308/328 iteration before the introduction of the 348, the Ferrari 328 enhanced what made this legendary ’70s-era V8 Ferrari great.
Ferrari 328 – Improved 3.2-Liter V8
Changes focused on optimizing the existing 3.0-liter V8 rather than adopting a larger or more complex unit. Displacement increased slightly to 3.2 liters courtesy of a longer stroke crankshaft. Four-valve cylinder heads helped the engine breathe better at high RPMs. Peak output rose 40 horsepower to 270hp at a soaring 7,000 RPM. 0-60mph now took just 5.5 seconds. The 328’s enhanced V8 fulfilled its sporting potential with an eager personality befitting Ferrari’s lineage of legendary V8 powertrains.
Refined Pininfarina Styling
Legendary Italian design house Pininfarina evolved the 308’s sensuous styling just enough to modernize its form. More integrated bumpers improved aerodynamics. Subtle contrasting side grilles behind the front wheels reduced visual mass. Round taillights got a modern smoked treatment. The lines remained seductively curvaceous but tighter and more purposeful. Inside, revised gauges and new climate control reflected the 328’s elevated aspirations. It remained stunning from nose to tail.
Improved Chassis Dynamics
Alongside the power boost, the 328’s handling saw refinement to take fuller advantage of the engine’s keen nature. The ride height was lowered 15mm for a more sporting stance. Revisions to the double-wishbone suspension improved compliance over bumps while retaining agile reflexes. More precise rack-and-pinion steering sharpened turn-in and feedback. Bigger vented disc brakes provided excellent pedal feel and fade resistance. In all conditions, the 328 was handled with poise and precision.
Italian Exotica Made Usable
Ferrari retained the 308’s essential balance between peculiar charm and drivability. The 328 remained striking to see yet easy to maneuver at low speeds. Controls were light at parking lot velocities. The compliant ride preserved composure over uneven surfaces. Relaxed cruising was still possible thanks to a tall fifth gear. Entry and exit were simplified by larger doors. Ferrari ensured the 328’s increased performance did not sacrifice the 308’s balance of thrilling performance and everyday comfort.
Well-Rounded Sports Car Excellence
The comprehensive improvements cemented the 328’s credentials as a holistically well-developed sports car. With its sensuous styling cloaking enhanced power and handling, the 328 exemplified Ferrari’s relentless refinement of successful models. While lacking the aura of limited-run exotics, the 328 brought accessible and balanced brilliance. For its era, the 328 delivered a near-perfect package blending style, performance and driveability – all for a reasonable $90,000 in 1989.
A Defining 1980s Ferrari 328
The 328 carried on the 308’s legacy as one of Ferrari’s most successful and important models in modern history. With over 7,000 produced, it put Italian fascinating ownership within reach for many aspiring buyers. Along with its Bay Area contemporaries like the 308, 288 GTO and F40, the 328 came to epitomize Maranello magic for a generation of 1980s performance enthusiasts. Though often overlooked, the 328 represents an evolution and refinement of the values that made Ferrari legendary.