The Ferrari F355 Berlinetta Is Nearly Faultless
“There Are No Bad Lines on This Car, No Bad Angles,” – Doug DeMuro on the F355 Berlinetta
From the metal-on-metal shifting of the gated 6-speed manual to the perfect handling, the F355 was the epitome of what Ferrari could build in the late 1990s. This was a car that wasn’t too powerful to make driving a chore, but used what power it did have to the utmost. The F355 was less a supercar and more an excellent sports car. Great handling balance, glorious V8 noises, and near-perfect steering — this car had them all in spades. This was the car that helped Ferrari transition from the old way of doing things to the way they do them now.
Striking that perfect balance between doorstop wedge and the too-round 360 Modena, the 355 was the return volley at Acura’s NSX. When Acura launched their supercar in the early 1990s, Ferrari was coasting along with the barely-improved 348. Honda sent them back to the drawing board. When Ferrari returned with the F355, it was enough to give them the upper hand again. Would the 355 exist if it weren’t for Honda?
CHECK OUT: What Forum Members Are Saying About the F355
In the video above, Doug DeMuro wants to make sure you know he loves the F355 as much as we do. He says it is “almost” his favorite Ferrari of all time. He appreciates the minimalist interior, with analog gauges and manual adjustment seats. Then he goes to great lengths to point out how much hand-stitched leather is inside this car, even in places that shouldn’t matter. The remote door locks are perfectly 1990s, to match the oddly proportioned flip-up headlamps. And then there’s DeMuro’s assertion that this is a back-road blaster, instead of one of those stoplight-to-stoplight screamers that exist today.
However, Demuro does complain about the car’s necessary engine-out services and exhaust manifold failures, which are common to the car. If you can afford to keep it maintained, though, the F355 might just be the best driving experience Ferrari has ever offered.