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Ferrari 308 GTB/GTS

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ferrari 308 GTB and GTS
1984 Ferrari 308 GTB qv.jpg
AssemblyMaranello, Italy
DesignerLeonardo Fioravanti at Pininfarina[1]
Body and chassis
ClassSports car (S)
Body styleBerlinetta (GTB)
Targa top (GTS)
LayoutTransverse mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive
RelatedFerrari 208/308 GT4
Ferrari Mondial
Ferrari 288 GTO
Wheelbase2,340 mm (92.1 in)
Length4,230 mm (166.5 in)
Width1,720 mm (67.7 in)
Height1,120 mm (44.1 in)
PredecessorDino 246 GT/GTS
SuccessorFerrari 328 GTB/GTS

The Ferrari 308 GTB berlinetta and targa topped 308 GTS are V8 mid-engined, two-seater sports cars manufactured by the Italian company Ferrari from 1975 to 1985. The 308 replaced the Dino 246 GT and GTS in 1975 and was updated as the 328 GTB/GTS in 1985. The similar 208 GTB and GTS were equipped with a smaller initially naturally aspirated, later turbocharged two-litre engine, and sold mostly in Italy.


The 308 had a tube frame with separate body. The 308 GTB/GTS and GT4 were mechanically similar, and also shared much with the original Dino. Both 308s sit on the same tube platform, however the GT4—being a 2+2—has a longer wheelbase. The engine was a V8 of a 90 degree configuration, with two belt-driven overhead camshafts per cylinder bank. It was transversely mounted in unit with the transaxle transmission assembly, which was below and to the rear of the engine's sump. All models used a fully synchromesh[2] 5-speed "dog-leg" manual gearbox and a clutch-type limited slip differential. Suspension was all-independent, comprising double wishbones, coaxial coil springs and hydraulic dampers, and anti-roll bars on both axles; four wheel vented disc brakes were also fitted. Steering was unassisted rack and pinion.

The 308's body was designed by Pininfarina's Leonardo Fioravanti, who had been responsible for some of Ferrari's most celebrated shapes to date such as the Daytona, the Dino and the Berlinetta Boxer. The 308 used elements of these shapes to create something very much in contrast with the angular Bertone-designed GT4. GTS models featured a removable roof panel with grained satin black finish, which could be stowed in a vinyl cover behind the seats when not in use.

Model history


Ferrari 308 GTB/GTS
Ferrari 308 GTBi/GTSi
Ferrari 308 GTB (12417503135) cropped.jpg
Production1975–1980 (GTB)
1977–1980 (GTS)
1980–1983 (GTBi/GTSi)
Engine2.9 L Tipo F106 AB V8 (GTB/GTS)
2.9 L Tipo F106 BB V8 (GTBi/GTSi)
Transmission5-speed manual[2]
Kerb weight1,090 kg (2,403 lb) (GTB)
1,286 kg (2,835 lb) (GTBi)

The Pininfarina-styled Ferrari 308 GTB was introduced at the Paris Motor Show in 1975[3] as a supplement to the Bertone-shaped 2+2 Dino 308 GT4 and a direct replacement for the 2-seater Dino 246.

Its F106 AB V8 engine was equipped with four twin-choke Weber 40DCNF carburettors and single coil ignition. European versions produced 255 PS (188 kW; 252 bhp) at 6600 rpm (7700 rpm redline), but American versions were down to 240 PS (177 kW; 237 bhp) at 6,600 rpm due to emissions control devices. European specification cars used dry sump lubrication. Cars destined to the Australian, Japanese and US market were fitted with a conventional wet sump engine from the GT4.[3]

A notable aspect of the early 308 GTB was that, although still built by Carrozzeria Scaglietti, its bodywork was entirely made of glass-reinforced plastic (or GRP), allowing a very light weight of 1,050 kg (2,315 lb). This lasted until June 1977, when the 308 was switched to steel bodies, resulting in an overall weight increase of approximately 150 kg (331 lb).

Five-spoke 14-inch alloy wheels were standard, while 16-inch wheels were made available later as an option on the 328, together with sports exhaust system, high compression pistons, and high lift camshaft.

Tail of an early single-exhaust GTS
Tail of an early single-exhaust GTS

At the 1977 Frankfurt Motor Show, the targa topped 308 GTS was introduced.[4] All GTSes used a wet sump engine and were steel-bodied. European GTB models retained the dry sump lubrication until 1981.

There were 3219 GTSes and 2897 GTBs made from 1975 to 1980.[3][4] Only 808 of the fibreglass (vetroresina in Italian) version were made.[5]

308 GTBi/GTSi

1981 308 GTSi, rear view
1981 308 GTSi, rear view

In 1980 Bosch K-Jetronic mechanical fuel injection was offered, leading to the 308 GTBi and GTSi; emissions decreased, at the price of a power drop to 214 PS (157 kW; 211 bhp) on European models and 205 PS (151 kW; 202 bhp) on federalized models. The fuel injection was coupled to a Marelli MED 803A Digiplex electronic ignition, incorporating a coil, distributor, and ignition module for each bank of cylinders.[6]

Outside, the car was identical to the 308 GTB/GTS, save for metric sized wheels of a slightly different design, fitted with Michelin TRX radial tyres—Michelin XWX on 16-inch wheels were optional. Inside, the clock and oil temperature gauge were moved to the centre console; there were also a new black steering wheel with three perforated spokes, and seats of a different pattern.

494 GTBis and 1743 GTSis were produced before the model was succeeded by the 308 Quattrovalvole in 1982.[6][7]

308 quattrovalvole

Ferrari 308 quattrovalvole
Ferrari 308 Front.jpg
Engine2.9 L (2,927 cc) Tipo F105 AB V8
Transmission5-speed manual
Kerb weight1,465 kg (3,230 lb) (GTS QV)[8]

Two years later, at the 1982 Paris Motor Show, Ferrari launched the 308 quattrovalvole, in GTB and GTS form.[9] The main change from the 308 GTBi/GTSi it succeeded were the four valves per cylinder—hence its name, quattrovalvole, literally "four valves" in Italian—which pushed output back up to 240 hp (179 kW) restoring some of the performance lost to the emission control equipment.

The new model could be recognized by the addition of a slim louvred panel in the front lid to aid radiator exhaust air exit, power operated mirrors carrying a small enamel Ferrari badge, a redesigned radiator grille with rectangular driving lights on each side, and rectangular (in place of round) side repeaters. The interior also received some minor updates, such as a satin black three spoke steering wheel with triangular centre; cloth seat centres became available as an option to the standard full leather. Available options included metallic paint, a deep front spoiler, air conditioning, wider wheels, 16-inch Speedline wheels with Pirelli P7 tyres, and a satin black roof aerofoil (standard on Japanese market models).

Apart from the DOHC 32-valve cylinder heads, the V8 engine was essentially of the same design as that used in the 308 GTSi model. Total displacement was 2,927 cc (2.9 L; 178.6 cu in), with a bore x stroke of 81 mm × 71 mm (3.19 in × 2.80 in). Output on European specification cars was 240 PS (237 bhp; 177 kW) at 7000 rpm and 260 N⋅m (192 lb⋅ft) at 5000 rpm of torque,[10] while for US specification variants were 233 PS (230 bhp; 171 kW) at 6800 rpm and 255 N⋅m (188 lb⋅ft) at 5500 rpm of torque.[8] The gear and final drive ratios were altered to suit the revised characteristics of the 4 multivalves per cylinder engine. One other significant benefit of the QV four valve heads was the replacement of the non-QV models sodium valves which have been known to fail at the joint between the head and the stem. Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection and Magneti Marelli Digiplex electronic ignition were carried over from the GTBi/GTSi. All US market examples were fitted with catalytic converters.

Federalized 1985 Ferrari 308 GTS Quattrovalvole
Federalized 1985 Ferrari 308 GTS Quattrovalvole

The 288 GTO introduced in 1984 is considered as the first Ferrari supercar. The 288 borrowed much of the styling from the European 308 GTB QV of the previous year, 1983: it is also powered by a similar debored 2.8-litre V8 (but with turbochargers), it retained the general bodywork lines with extended wheelarches, different side air vents, and bigger rear spoiler, longer (5 in (127 mm)) wheelbase, and the central tubular space frame chassis.

In 1985 Ferrari launched the 328, which replaced the Quattrovalvole. Between 1982 and 1985 the model was produced in a total of 3042 GTS and only 748 GTB examples.[9][11]


Ferrari 208 GTB
Ferrari 208 GTS
Ferrari 208 GTS (1980) 1.jpg
Engine2.0 L Tipo F106 CB 000 V8

In 1980 Ferrari introduced a two-litre version of the 308, 208 GTB and 208 GTS. They were mainly for the domestic Italian market, where new cars with engines above 2 litres were subjected to a much higher value added tax, 38% instead of the standard 18%.[12] They were also listed in Portugal and New Zealand. The 208 GTB/GTS replaced the 208 GT4 2+2. It is often regarded as the slowest Ferrari ever made but was proved faster than the 208 GT4 Bertone in a 1980 test by American magazine Motor Trend.

The engine was de-bored to 68.8 mm (giving it an undersquare design) for a total displacement of 1,990.64 cc (121 cu in),[13] resulting in one of the smallest V8 engines ever produced. Fed through four Weber 34 DCNF carburettors, the V8 produced 155 PS (114 kW; 153 bhp) at 6800 rpm.[14] 160 208 GTS and 140 208 GTB cars were produced in 1980 and 1981.[14][15]

208 GTB/GTS turbo

Ferrari 208 GTB turbo
Ferrari 208 GTS turbo
Ferrari 208 Turbo (12368983463).jpg
Engine2.0 L Tipo F106 D 000 turbocharged V8
SuccessorFerrari GTB/GTS Turbo

In 1982 the two-litre 208 was succeeded by a turbocharged and fuel injected version, the 208 GTS turbo unveiled at the Turin Motor Show.[16] It was the first ever turbocharged road-going Ferrari.

The 208's engine was given a single KKK turbocharger with wastegate valve, Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection and Marelli electronic ignition. Forced induction increased power to 220 PS (162 kW; 217 bhp) at 7000 rpm. A GTS version was introduced a year later, in 1983.

208 GTB Turbo, rear view
208 GTB Turbo, rear view

Both outside and inside the 208 Turbo was almost identical to the contemporary 308 Quattrovalvole. It could be recognized by NACA ducts in front of the rear wheel well openings and "turbo" badging on the tail and shrouded exhaust pipes; the normally optional deep front spoiler, black roof aileron were standard.

Production ended in 1985 after 437 GTB turbo and 250 GTS turbo cars were produced.[16][17] In 1986 they were replaced by the 328-based, intercooled GTB/GTS Turbo.

In popular culture

Ferrari 308 GTSi from Magnum, P.I.
Ferrari 308 GTSi from Magnum, P.I.

The 308 was made famous by the television series Magnum, P.I. in which the series' lead, Thomas Magnum (Tom Selleck) drove the car around Oahu for eight seasons while on his investigations, from 1980 to 1988. Several 308 GTS cars were used, a new one for each season, most being auctioned off after filming and all with the license plate ROBIN 1.

  • Season 1 - 1979 308GTS (chassis number 28251)
  • Seasons 2–6 - 1981 308GTSi
  • Seasons 7–8 - 1984 308GTSi quattrovalvole[18]

In the 1981 movie Cannonball Run a former open-wheel icon (and Scotch-swilling) Jamie Blake (Dean Martin) and his (gambling-obsessed) teammate Morris Fenderbaum (Sammy Davis, Jr.), dressed as Catholic priests, drive a 1979 red 308 GTS .

In 1983s National Lampoon's Vacation Christie Brinkley easily distracts Chevy Chase in a 1981 308 GTSi[19] with the license place LUV ME.

The 1984 Transformers animated series also featured a Ferrari 308 GTB as the alt mode for the Decepticon Wildrider, one of the Stunticons.


In 2004, Sports Car International named this car number five on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1970s.

Regional differences

Among the typically yearly updates to the performance and style of the 308 throughout its run, cars from the same series would have a number of differences between them depending on their intended export market (which is usual for European cars). For example, a 308 destined for the American market would sport much larger heavier bumpers and a slightly sturdier frame (and many other smaller details) in order to meet more stringent US road safety standards. American market cars also suffered a performance hit due to a compression ratio of 8.6:1 vs 9.2:1 for most of the rest of the world state emissions legislation which reduced horsepower. As a result of these differences there is often a premium paid for the "purer" European spec car over the federalized car.

A 1979 Euro spec GTS (left) and a 1977 US spec GTB (right)
A 1979 Euro spec GTS (left) and a 1977 US spec GTB (right)

Some differences between the Euro-spec and US-spec cars are shown below:

  • 240 hp vs. 233 hp
  • Different gear ratios
  • Lighter, small front bumper that follows the hood line vs. 2.5 mph impact bumper that is extended and has extra "fangs"
  • Lighter, small rear bumper vs. impact bumper with spacer
  • Exposed dual tip muffler vs. black muffler cover with catalytic converter
  • Vitaloni style outside mirrors vs. larger flag mirrors that provide a better view for safety
  • Small yellow front side marker light with no rear side lights vs. large rectangular yellow front and red rear side marker lights (many euro cars now in the USA had the euro lights converted to USA spec and added the red rear lights)
  • No "fasten seat belt" warning light in Euro spec
  • Flash to pass driving lights in front grill in Euro spec
  • Space saver spare tire vs. full size spare
  • Rear engine cover top has only a left and right grill vs. "U" shaped grill that provides a larger cooling area necessary for the added catalytic converter just behind the muffler.
  • Overall weight of Euro spec lower because of door beams and bumpers.

308 GTB Millechiodi

The 308 GTB Millechiodi was an aerodynamic study based on the 308 GTB and designed by Pininfarina. It was first shown at the 1977 Geneva Motor Show. Differences from the standard 308 GTB include a custom, unpainted aerodynamic body kit and the instrument panel from the Berlinetta Boxer.[20] Some of its styling elements would later show up in the Ferrari 288 GTO.


  1. ^ "Designer". Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Autotest: Ferrari 308 GTB". Autocar. 145 (4172): 49–54. 23 October 1976.
  3. ^ a b c "308 GTB". Ferrari official website, past models. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  4. ^ a b "308 GTS". Ferrari official website, past models. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  5. ^ Ahlgrim, Steve (September 2012). "1976 Ferrari 308 GTB Vetroresina". Sports Car Market. 24 (9): 58–59.
  6. ^ a b "308 GTBi". Ferrari official website, past models. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  7. ^ "308 GTSi". Ferrari official website, past models. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  8. ^ a b "1984 Ferrari 308 GTS Quattrovalvole model for North America U.S." Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  9. ^ a b "308 GTB Quattrovalvole". Ferrari official website, past models. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  10. ^ "1984 Ferrari 308 GTS Quattrovalvole model for Europe". Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  11. ^ "308 GTS Quattrovalvole". Ferrari official website, past models. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  12. ^ Cnossen, Sijbren. Tax Coordination in the European Community. Springer Science & Business Media, 2013, p. 163
  13. ^ "Ferrari 208 gtb". Ferrari GT - en-EN. Retrieved 2016-02-03.
  14. ^ a b "208 GTB". Ferrari official website, past models. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  15. ^ "208 GTS". Ferrari official website, past models. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  16. ^ a b "208 GTB Turbo". Ferrari official website, past models. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  17. ^ "208 GTS Turbo". Ferrari official website, past models. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  18. ^ "The Ferrari". Magnum Mania. 2014-04-22. Archived from the original on 2015-11-06. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  19. ^
  20. ^ Pizzano, Old Goggles. "Pininfarina Ferrari 308 GTB Millechiodi". Oppositelock. Retrieved 2018-10-19.


  • Buckley, Martin; Rees, Chris (1998). World Encyclopedia of Cars. London: Anness Publishing. ISBN 1-84038-083-7.
  • "Retail Prices, Import Cars". Automotive News: 53. April 1986.

External links

This page was last edited on 20 November 2019, at 20:17
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