Even by Maranello’s exalted standards, the Ferrari 355 remains unquestionably a landmark automobile. Far more than the upgraded 348 that it was initially dismissed as being, the 355 is the first of the truly modern Ferraris – a magnificent driving experience that luxuriates in the handbuilt aura of its predecessors while delivering performance that remains exceptional even today.
First launched at the Geneva Motorshow in 1994, the 355 adopted F1-style cylinder heads on its 3.5-litre V8 to raise the rev limit to a stratospheric 8,250pm – and the power went equally sky high as well, from 312bhp on its 348 predecessor to a mighty 375bhp. F1 was also an inspiration for its transmission, with the 355 the first modern Ferrari with a single-clutch automated gearbox, premiering in 1997.
But if you could somehow put its technical genius aside, the 355 would still drop jaws with its classical beauty, and raise pulses with its phenomenal speed and handling. Consider this: the 355 could dispatch 100kph in a mere 4.7 seconds, do the quarter mile in 12.9 seconds, and go on to a top speed of nearly 300kph. This is no nostalgia trip, no boulevard cruiser, but a thoroughly well engineered supercar that will delight its future custodian every time he or she turns the ignition key on.