The 348 tb was a dramatic departure for Ferrari. Its 3,405-cc dual overhead-camshaft engine is mounted longitudinally in the chassis like the 288 GTO. However the 348’s chassis is only four inches longer than the transverse-engined 328 GT that preceded it. To accomplish this magic, Ferrari applied lessons learned in its Formula One racing program, developing a transversely mounted gearbox in unit with the differential to minimize the drivetrain’s length and contain the masses of the drivetrain for optimum handling. The 348 tb also utilized a monocoque chassis, further reducing its mass and containing it within the extended wheelbase for quicker response.
Like other manufacturers, by the time the 348 was introduced in 1990, Ferrari was learning to live with emissions restrictions. Bosch Motronic port fuel injection and electronic engine management delivered 300 horsepower at 7,200 rpm from the 348’s four-valve-per-cylinder engine. Luxuriously equipped with air conditioning, sound-deadening insulation and a multitude of power assists, the 348 has one horsepower per 10.6 pounds of weight, a figure that even today ranks it among the top street performance GTs.
The 348’s engine was lowered some five inches from the 328, complementing a track that was much wider at the front (1.2″) than the rear (4.4″). This made the 348 both more stable and more responsive.
The 11-year-old 1991 348 tb Berlinetta shown here is an extraordinary time capsule, with barely 100 miles from new.