Ferrari Mondial 8, the Prancing Horse manufacturer pays tribute to the 1979 world championship

We are in 1980, the Prancing Horse manufacturer is the fresh winner of both the drivers 'title, obtained with the South African driver Jody Scheckter, and the constructors' title thanks to the glorious Ferrari 312 T4.

As happened in previous years, Enzo Ferrari wants to dedicate the name of a new road car to the world titles, and since the Ferrari 308 GT4 does not achieve the desired success, the conditions are created for a new coupé car, which takes the name of Mondial 8 in honor of the world championship won the previous year, to which the number of engine cylinders is added.

The partial failure of the 308 GT4 was caused, according to Enzo Ferrari, by the design of Bertone, which is why the stylistic study was entrusted to Pininfarina.

The style of the Mondial, even if set for a 2 + 2 car, immediately distances itself from the wedge shape characteristic of the 308 GT4, as it has a less aggressive line and much more suitable for a four-seater car. In addition, the large side grilles appear for the first time, which will later also be adapted to the Ferrari Testarossa.

The Mondial 8 is therefore one of the first World Cars of the Maranello car manufacturer: tubular chassis, extended wheelbase, transverse engine and independent suspension, outline the winning poker on which Ferrari is aiming, to which it is added, for the first time in the history of Red, the use of an innovative removable rear frame, which facilitates the maintenance operations of the mechanical components.

The car has a 2,926 cm³ eight-cylinder V8 engine derived from the engine installed on the Ferrari 308 GTB, combined with a BoschK-Jetronic fuel injection, which delivers a maximum power of 214 horsepower, thus allowing a maximum speed of 220 Km/h.

The car is a concentrate of novelties: in fact, in addition to having installed a particular removable rear frame, for the first time a Prancing Horse car crosses the gates of Via Abetone equipped with a central V8 engine, which is combined with a manual gearbox. five-speed.

The interiors feature an extremely clean dashboard, which only features the insertion of the on-board instrument panel and the air conditioning grilles. The control panel is instead positioned in the central tunnel, between the driver's seat and the passenger on his right, rigorously embroidered in light leather, as are the seats and the side panels of the doors. The floor is completely finished in dark carpet, on which the symbol of the Prancing Horse stands out, near the footrest.

In compliance with the strict Swiss and US anti-pollution regulations, Ferrari is forced to adopt some precautions such as a lower compression, and a catalyst that decreases the power of the engine.

Furthermore, in the cars destined for the American market, the bumpers are modified, which are more protruding, and the side marker lights, in accordance with the stringent local homologation regulations.

However, the cold impact for the export versions, and the recurrent failures of the electrical system in the first models, lead the Ferrari engineers and technicians to experiment on the next version of the Mondial the four-cylinder engine, derived from Formula One cars.

The Ferrari Mondial 8 was built only in 703 units from 1980 to 1982, the year in which it was replaced by its sister Mondial Quattrovalvole.

The very first versions are made with the single mirror and have black side grilles, a solution later abandoned in favor of the double exterior mirror, with the grilles in the same color as the bodywork.

As there is no Spyder version of the Mondial 8, all 703 units of the first series are equipped with an electrically operated sunroof, as well as central locking and electric rearview mirror adjustment. Electric is also the opening of the three hoods: the front, with the spare wheel and some services, the central with the engine compartment, and the rear luggage rack, which is very generous for its size.

The car is handcrafted right from the start, which is why the Maranello car manufacturer warns that the technical characteristics and official dimensions are indicative.

This particularity only increases its historical value, given that each model of the 703 produced is, in fact, a unique example of its kind.



Transverse motor, 8V 90 °

Bore and stroke 81 x 71mm

Unit displacement 365.86 cm³

Total displacement 2926.90 cm³

Compression ratio 8.8:1

Maximum power 157 kW (214 hp) at 6600 rpm

Specific power 73 hp/liter

Maximum torque 243 Nm (24.8 kgm) at 4600 rpm

Twin shaft distribution, two valves per cylinder

Bosch K-Jetronic injection power supply

Electronic ignition

Wet sump lubrication

Single plate clutch


Tubular steel frame

Independent front suspension, wishbones, coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers, stabilizer bar

Independent rear suspension, wishbones, coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers, stabilizer bar

Disk brakes

Five-speed manual transmission + reverse gear

Rack and pinion steering

Fuel tank capacity 64 liters

240/55 VR 390 front tires

240/55 VR 390 rear tires

Car body

Coupé 2+2 seats

Length 4580 mm

Width 1790 mm

Height 1250 mm

Wheelbase 2650 mm

Front track 1495 mm

Rear track 1517 mm

Weight 1445 Kg when empty


Maximum speed 230 km/h

Acceleration from 0 to 400 meters in fifteen seconds

Acceleration from 0 to 1000 meters in twenty-eight seconds

Andrea Rasponi