Ferrari F355 GTS : 1997

Targa topped.
Filed under:  Supercars
Comment(s): 5
MSRP Engine BHP Manufactured
n/a 3.5 liter 90° V8 375.0 1994 - 1999
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The Ferrari F355 GTS is an evolution of the Ferrari 348 and was replaced by the Ferrari 360. The F355 features a 5-valve per cylinder head and that it is considerably more powerful.

GTS: for Gran Turismo Spyder.
The "S" stands for "Spider" or "Spyder". GTS Ferraris are usually not true "Spiders" in the sense that they weren't fully convertible (or Cabriolet) but rather "Targa Top," meaning that the roof panel is removable.

ferrari f355 gts 4 97

At launch, two models were available: the coupe Berlinetta, and the targa topped GTS (the F355 GTS' removable roof was made of composite materials). The Spider (convertible) version was introduced in 1995 (Ferrari’s first vehicle with an electronically actuated soft top). The Ferrari 355 nomenclature = 3.5 litres engine capacity and 5 valves per cylinder.

For the F355, Ferrari developed a new 3.5 liter 90° V8 engine developing 375 bhp at 8250 rpm with a redline of 8500 rpm. Maximum torque was 268 lbs-ft at 6000 rpm. The specific output of this remarkable 5-valve unit was 109bhp per liter.

The engine's aluminum block had Nikasil-coated wet steel liners. Peculiarly light forged aluminum alloy pistons drove the crankshaft through titanium alloy con rods previously seen only in Formula 1 engines. The engine's greatest innovation is its five-valves per cylinder, three intake and two exhaust, that combined high revs with high intake permeability maximizing gross efficiency. The aluminum head was ultra-high strength with variable rigidity dual valve springs. The radial intake valves made conical cam profiles necessary and the high rotation speed necessitated a high lift for both reliability and long-term performance. The control lobe for the central intake valve was slightly offset, reducing pulse stress and the emission of un-burned hydrocarbons. The valves were actuated by hydraulic tappets with automatic play take-up, a first for engines that rev over 8000rpm. In accordance with racing design, Ferrari engineers created an extremely compact high-swirl combustion chamber of 11:1 compression ratio. The engine was controlled by a Bosch Motronic M2.7 twin hot wire electronic injection-static ignition system, and lubricated by a dry sump engine oil circuit.

The exhaust system was insulated stainless steel and featured twin-branch delivery to the catalysts: one main branch to a ceramic matrix catalyst and one by-pass branch to steel matrix catalysts. The by-pass branch only comes into play at high speeds in response to the opening of a throttle valve controlled by the Motronic system. This optimizes engine performance by reducing exhaust back-pressure.

The F355's drivetrain featured a 6-speed transverse gearbox or an optional F1 electro-hydraulic transmission system with paddle shifters, derived directly from current Formula 1 technology. The manual, all-synchronized system offered short travel through the classic Ferrari gated shifter actuating rigid rods for a positive feel. The ratios were designed to make the most of the torque curve, thereby enhancing the driveability and sporty performance of the car. The differential was a multi-plate limited slip type with segmented lock that adopts a differentiated drive and over run. The single dry plate clutch was hydraulically actuated, its housing being magnesium alloy. A water/oil heat exchanger ensured the gearbox oil was rapidly brought to optimal operating temperature.

Ferrari's 6-speed F1 electro-hydraulic transmission, debuted on the F355, signaled a new era in drivetrain design and performance. The driver shifts a sequential system controlled with paddles behind the steering wheel, exactly as on a Formula 1 car. There is no clutch pedal. The system has four driver-selectable modes of operation: sport, normal, auto, and low grip. The Ferrari "Fl-type power train management" is the best solution for racing and road use. The system guarantees almost instantaneous gear changes, allowing the driver's desired gear to be engaged without either taking the hands off the wheel or operating the clutch, even during hard cornering. For safety, it is impossible to avoid engaging intermediate gears during rapid downshifts. The system can be used in a fully automatic mode without impacting fuel consumption, and the software that controls the system is integrated with other systems in the car to increase control in varied conditions.

(source: Ferrari)

Production numbers.
According to the Ferrari 355 Registry, there were a total of 776 total GTS Targa topped 355's built between 1994 and 1999. Only 258 black 355's (of all types) were built, many less as targas.

A separate source indicates the following production numbers per model...
3938 (Berlinetta)
2048 (GTS)
2663 (Spider)

Ferrari chat has another set of numbers. They are...
4,915 Berlinettas
2,577 GTS
3,714 355 Spiders...
99 Fiorano Edition 355's were made in 1999.
355 production at 11,273 units, of which 2,624 were F1 tranny and 8,649 were 6 speeds.

Topspeed claims that the F355 was produced nearly 12,000 units to become one of the most popular Ferrari’s of all time.

The ultimate evolution step for the F355 was taken by the “Serie Fiorano” limited edition that lowered the car’s stance and added tastefully subtle styling cues to more closely identify the vehicle with the Scuderia Ferrari.

We have no idea what is accurate and any details would be greatly appreciated. Add them to the comments below.

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ferrari f355gts emblem

Ferrari F355 GTS emblem. Built by Ferrari from May 1994 to 1999. The GTS was the targa topped model.

pininfarina script thick

The F355 was styled by the famous Pininfarina studio, a Ferrari traditional partner.

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