Ferrari 308 GT4 review


What is?

What is technically the 308 GT4? It is not it’s a ferrari. Or at least it wasn’t at launch. It was presented in 1973 at the Paris Motor Show under the firm’s Dino brand, as a 2+2 complement to the magnificent Dino 246 GT.

Ferrari badges slid over it during its seven-year lifespan, but unlike the 246 it hasn’t achieved legendary status since and thus remains one of the cheapest ways to own a Cavallino. £50,000. And yet he should be an icon; it is a first-class car.

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Like what?

It was the first Ferrari to be designed by Bertone, and its retractable lamp wedge shape drew much criticism in the early ’70s, mainly for looking too much like the design house’s other products. Cars like the Lancia Stratos, Lamborghini Countach and Maserati Khamsin. Imagine being told that you look too much alike those.

It was also the first production Ferrari to use a V8 engine, a 2.9-litre 90-degree V8 mounted transversely behind the cab and now producing 250 bhp (at 7,700 rpm) and 210 lb-ft (at 5,000 rpm), quite a bit. modest. although both numbers dropped somewhat over the life of the car and for US imports. Anyone particularly concerned about power and sluggish emissions had the option of a 2.0-litre V8 version, the 208 GT4, from 1975, a response to strict Italian tax laws. Cheaper to buy, but his penny pinch only gave him 170hp to play with.

It’s a 2+2, you say?

Yes. It crammed a couple of extra seats onto a wheelbase just 8.3 inches longer than the Dino 246. That’s no small feat when that V8 is also between the wheels. The mid-engined 2+2 is a rare beast, but this one gets it right: you’ll be much more human in the back of one than in a Lotus Evora, where the seats are more like decoration. . Or a place for very light shopping.

You can thank old-school safety rules for that, of course, and our day with the car revealed that those sitting in the back will need reasonably flexible legs and a nonchalant attitude to getting a little hot. But the margin is truly impressive and puts to shame Ferrari’s last V8-powered 2+2, the front-engined Roma. Just look at how the roof extends over the rear seats before it falls off: Bertone’s designers knew what they had to do here.

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Enough of practicality, back to performance…

It’s fair to describe the 308’s performance as “back in the day,” but that doesn’t mean it’s slow. Acceleration numbers will largely be dictated by how confidently you use its gorgeous five-speed manual gearbox with doglegs and open doors. There’s no double-clutch magic to avoid redness here – you need a finely balanced mix of strong limbs but delicate control to get the most out of a ’70s supercar like this.

However, weighing in at just over a tonne, it’s certainly fast enough. Expect 0-62mph in just under seven seconds and a top speed of 158mph. It’s really not bad at all, and with the driving position pointed at the center of its fishbowl-shaped windscreen, the world comes to you pretty quickly when you’re ensconced inside a GT4.

What’s the verdict?

It has been one of the cheapest ways to own a Ferrari since its inception. Don’t get me wrong as a result, though: it’s still a fascinating car simply to race, let alone drive.

Having £50,000 to spend on a used Ferrari got him looking for F355 classifieds, but no more. The 308 GT4 is one of the few models that can claim dubious merit for being so affordable, but we’d say it wants one more than its Mondial successor for a few thousand less.

Especially since it looks and feels like a supercar from the ’70s. Much more captivating than you’d expect from a Ferrari that wasn’t even originally marketed as such, it’s special for all speeds everywhere and makes sense of the chance. If you buy carefully, from a specialist and with plenty of inspection, you’ll end up with an exciting slice of exoticism for the price of an uncomfortable-spec Audi TT. And one that also has roomier rear seats.

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