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During the late 1960's came the first baby Ferrari in a long line of illustrious entry-level models, the mid-engined Dino. Evolving into the V8-engined 308 by 1975, 328's and 348's continued the baby Ferrari's reputation for pretty design and spirited performance. F355's were the fifth incarnations and from May 1994, offered as either a fixed head Berlinetta or Targa-topped GTS. These were joined by a Spider 12 months later while from 1997.
The F355's task was to be faster and easier to handle on the limit, the latter having been a regular bone of contention with 348 road testers. There was a new electronic damper control system that fed information on road speed, brake pressure, suspension loadings and steering into a computer that decided exactly how firm the dampers needed to be. Derived from lessons learnt with active suspension, the F355 system worked even better than that of the McLaren F1 and was accompanied by full underbody aerodynamics. This radically improved airflow beneath the car and increased stability at high speeds. Also very impressive was a new engine that could boast the highest output of any normally aspirated road car unit in history to that date, output was 380bhp at 8250rpm. Needless to say, the F355 was an exceptional performer, 0-60 in just 4.6 seconds and a 185mph top speed having been a quantum leap on the 348. Launched at the Geneva Salon during May 1994, the F355 caused a sensation and orders came flooding in. Production continued with just a couple of minor alterations being made to the engine management and exhaust system until 2000. The 355 is already a modern classic, it is widely regarded as the last classically pretty mid-engined Ferrari and as such values have slowly began to rise.