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 the McLaren F1's 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 specific 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.
Three bodystyles were available; including two open cars, the F355 Spyder and the targa-topped F355 GTS, as well as the closed F355 Berlinetta, like the example offered here. The F355 also introduced the now-famous, F1 semi-automatic paddle shift transmission, revolutionary technaology for the time. However, with the benefit of hindsight and through the progression of technology, the rarer, manual examples are today considered the cars to own for a more engaging and enjoyable driving experience.
The example we feature here was first delivered in August of 1996 as a UK market, RHD example through Maranello Sales of Egham. Ordered in the classic colourway of Rosso Corsa over a Nero hide with Rosso carpets, as the car presents today, it was also fitted with the all important 6-speed manual gearbox, the quintessential mid-'90s Ferrari configuration. The Berlinetta body style offers arguably the purest representation of the beautiful Pininfarina design.
Whilst some of the early history for this car is not known, strong and regular service history is shown from 2007 onwards as is evidenced by a number of invoices present within the cars file, as well as the stamped service book. Regular servicing has been carried out by respected Ferrari specialists in addition to a recent service in June of this year by Ferrari main dealer, JCT600 Ferrari Leeds.
Whilst this example has clearly been enjoyed throughout the 59,600 miles covered, it is plainly evident from the condition in which the car presents today that it has always been cherished by its previous custodians. This example would make a wonderful companion for trips through Europe, to events such as the Le Mans Classic, and presents a great opportunity to own an iconic Ferrari V8 Berlinetta.