The Car Connection Ferrari 360 Overview
Simple and elegant in its exterior design, yet conveying the underlying technology and race-bred aerodynamics knowledge of Ferrari, the 360's look has never become stale, despite first hitting the market in 1999. Built until 2005, the 360 changed little in its exterior shape over the years, though a number of variants added to (or, in the case of the Spider, subtracted from) the curves with model-specific details.
Available initially as a coupe, known as the Ferrari 360 Modena after Enzo Ferrari's birthplace, the 360 Spider (convertible) was added to the range two years later. Both versions featured the same 3.6-liter V-8 engine rated at 400 horsepower, visible amidships under a glass cover. A six-speed manual transmission was standard, though in late 2000, an electro-hydraulic automated manual transmission was added as an option. Despite the Ferrari 360's high-performance mission and luxurious details, the car weighed about 3,050 pounds in coupe form, or 3,180 pounds as a Spider--comparatively light when parked next to today's supercars.
As a result of the car's ample power and relatively low curb weight, the Ferrari 360 was capable of 0-60-mph runs in 4.2 seconds for the 360 Modena, and 4.4 seconds for the 360 Spider. Top speed for the coupe was a brisk 189 mph, while the Spider's lack of a solid roof limited it to 180 mph.
An even higher-performance version of the 360 was introduced later, called the Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale. The Challenge Stradale was tuned up with many of the available add-ons for the standard Modena, presented in a package intended to work cohesively to improve performance. Extensive use of carbon fiber, including carbon seats and carbon engine bay elements, as well as lighter componentry like a racing exhaust and titanium springs, helped the 360 Challenge Stradale to shed up to 250 pounds compared to the standard 360 Modena. Other performance enhancements included carbon-reinforced silicon carbide brake discs, up-sized 19-inch BBS wheels, and the interior was stripped of its leather (replaced with cloth), its power windows and mirrors, and its stereo, among other lightening efforts. As a result of the lightened equipment, the 360 Challenge Stradale could accelerate to 60 mph in under four seconds, and lap Ferrari's Fiorano development circuit in 3.5 seconds less than the standard Modena's time. Racing versions of the 360 were also built for customers to race in a variety of series.
The Ferrari 360 was never a green machine; it achieved about 11 mpg in the city and 16 mpg on the highway. The 360 was eventually replaced by the Ferrari F430.