There are cars like this. Anonymous creations. Automobiles that are left to be forgotten. You usually think of cars like the Opel Speedster, or the Mercedes-Benz CLC. Petrolheads would tend to think that this can never happen to exotic car manufacturers. Nevertheless, let me introduce the 348 GTB. A detestable sports car, that is, perhaps, one of the most underrated Ferraris ever. We drove it and we are ready to deliver our verdict.
Hard to believe someone stating that a Ferrari is shit. Lousy cars have always existed but growing up, I always believed that these big names of the automobile industry were associated to amazing cars. I would think that all Porsches drove unbelievable, that all Maseratis drove beautiful, and I thought that all Ferraris drove like perfection. Was I wrong? With time, I realized that some Porsches are crap and some Maseratis are even worse than that. But what about Ferrari? Had some cars escaped the control-freak and very demanding Enzo Ferrari? Or, maybe, could it be that Enzo botched a car’s development?
We are left with many questions. But here we have the answer to these interrogations: The Ferrari 348 GTB. The car came out in 1989 and replaced the 328. The design looked very much like the Testarossa with its “cheese graters” side vents, pop-up headlights and black lines hiding the taillights. The 348 was the baby Testarossa with a 3.4 V8 centrally mounted paired to a 5-speed manual. The result is a sporty 320bhp berlinetta capable of reaching 280 km/h and getting from 0-100 km/h in 5.4 seconds. That doesn’t sound like much but yeah, this car is nearly 30 years old! The 348 had several declensions like a targa and a cabriolet. But this one is maybe the most sought after. The GTB was the final edition of the 348 and only 252 units were produced. That’s rarer than an F50!
So why do purists hate it? Yes, the looks are a bit divisive and the performances might not be Ferrari enough. Are these the only elements that make this car one of the cheapest Ferraris? Come one it’s mid-engine V8 connected to manual gearbox. How bad can it be? So, let’s jump in! The interior looks a lot like the one from a Testarossa and looks pretty nice, especially with this beige finish. The leather is immaculate and smells like new. Maybe only the carpets with the giant prancing horse looks a bit cheap. Also, the car isn’t that loud, so when you start it, you don’t get that brutal wake-up call that you would get in the newest berlinettas. But then comes the driving experience. It’s a sharp chassis and a raw steering. Is it maybe one of the best steering ever? The 348 GTB truly comes alive when it’s driven. The only downside is the gearbox that is balky when cold, so make sure to fully warm it up to experience the real smoothness of this gearbox.
Even if the Ferrari 348 GTB is a controversial car, it doesn’t deserve to be underrated. It looks like a Testarossa, but drives better than one. That's why it deserves four stars on five. This car will provide the full Ferrari package for an affordable price. This particular model is for sale and is the entry ticket to rare and perfect condition Ferrari. After all how many affordable V8 Ferraris with manual gearbox do you know?
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Perego Cars, situated in Switzerland, for giving me the opportunity to review and shoot this car. Website: www.peregocars.com/en Facebook: www.facebook.com/peregocars/ Instagram: www.instagram.com/peregocars/