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Ferrari Mondial: Buying guide and review (1980-1993)

Ferrari Mondial: Buying guide and review (1980-1993) Classic and Performance Car
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At launch in 1980, one mag raved, ‘the closest you’ll get to supercar family transport’, although that very same statement could also be read as a damning condemnation. But time changes perceptions; now the Mondial lives in automotive limbo. ‘The Ferrari that took the super out of supercar’ is a more recent assessment.
Both statements have truth in them – the Mondial lacks definition, and these are some of the factors that make the Mondial just about the most affordable, easy to live with and practical latter-day Ferrari of all. A er years in the doldrums, they’re not going to get any cheaper.
So what is it? The Mondial began where the 308GT4 left off, with the same mid-mounted 3-litre V8, but on a longer wheelbase. In place of the Bertone belligerence, the Pininfarina-penned Mondial was a poem in politeness: better appointed, more comfortable, with genuine 2+2 accommodation, and still good for 140mph. 
When production ended in 1993, the Mondial had sold 6800 units, more than any Ferrari before – which is why the Ferrari Fascisti deride it. They’re wrong; the Mondial provided the template for today’s civilised four- seater Ferraris. It was also the most civilised Ferrari of its day.
Today, opinions on its styling are still divided, but appreciation for the Mondial’s practical side and affordable values are starting to see a resurgence in demand. The earlier versions are also relatively easy to work on, making the Mondial one of those rare Ferraris that is both practical and reasonable (in Ferrari terms!) to run.

Which Mondial to buy?

The ’82 QV quattrovalvole version boosted power to 240bhp; the cabriolet came out in 1983; in 1985 the engine grew to 3.2 litres. Arguably the sweet spot in the range can be found in the any of the cars produced between 1982 and 1988. These earlier cars allow servicing of the timing belt and clutch without engine removal, but came fitted with the Quattrovalvole units, producing a more Ferrari-like 240bhp instead of the 214bhp of the very early models.
With the introduction of the Mondial t in 1989, a number of important changes took place however, and these models will appeal  if you have a bit more money to spend. Power increased to 300bhp thanks to a transverse-mounted 3.4-litre V8 – a layout that is still in use in the 488 today. Exterior styling as well as the interior trim received a welcome upgrade too. 
One drawback to this layout is that the engine and transmission must be removed to access various serviceable items. The clutch however is mounted at the rear, making replacement a far less arduous task. The added complexity of these later cars can increase the running costs, and that is why some owners prefer the slightly earlier models. The T offered power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering, along with standard air-con.

Performance and specs

Ferrari Mondial 3.2
Engine 3185cc, 32-valve DOHC V8 
Power 260bhp @ 7000rpm 
Torque 213lb ft @ 5000rpm
Top speed 148mph 
0-60mph 6.3 seconds 
Fuel consumption 19.2mpg 
Gearbox Five-speed manual

Dimensions and weight

Wheelbase 2650mm
Length 4580mm
Width 1790mm
Height 1260mm
Weight 1430kg

Common problems

• Many parts are in common with the 308 so parts and spares availability is not too much of a problem.
• Electric windows operate very slowly on all model years, and there is not much that can be done to speed them up. Some owners bypass the fusebox and run the wiring straight to the battery.
• Upgrading the old air conditioning system using an R134A conversion kit makes for far cheaper refills. It’s worth checking if the car you are interested in has had this upgrade carried out. If it doesn’t blow cold, then assume the system will need a full rebuild, as it’s very rarely ‘just a re-gas’. 
• Timing belts need replacing every 30,000 miles or an absolute maximum of ten years. If they break it’s game over for the engine, so make sure that the service history prove that they have been done within this mileage and timeframe. 
• The electrical system can suffer from gremlins, caused by corrosion of the contacts over time. There are many tricks to resolve these minor issues, however it is usually best to leave the electrics to a specialist.
• Rust protection on the Mondial is much improved over earlier Ferrraris, however corrosion can still set in, especially in the sills and wheel arches of neglected cars. Make sure you get a specialist to look over the car thoroughly as replacement body panels will need to be fabricated and repairs are not cheap.

Model history

1980: Mondial 8 introduced featuring 2+2 coupe body style and 214bhp, 3.0-litre V8
1982: Quattrovalvole model introduced, pushing power up to 240bhp
1983: Cabriolet body style option added, making this the only mid-engined, four-seater convertible Ferrari ever made.
1985: Mondial 3.2 introduced with 270bhp. Major interior and dashboard update carried out as well as restyled bumpers and lights.
1987: ABS introduced across the range.
1989: Mondial t Coupe and Cabriolet introduced with major changes both inside and out. 3.4-litre engine replaces 3.2 unit, pushing power up to 300bhp. ‘Valeo’ semi-automatic option made available. Power assisted steering introduced
1993: Final Mondial rolls off the production line 

Mondial production numbers

Mondial 8: 703
Mondial QV Coupe: 1145
Mondial QV Cabriolet: 629
3.2 Mondial Coupe: 987
3.2 Mondial Cabriolet: 810
Mondial t Coupe: 840
Mondial t Cabriolet: 1010

Owners clubs, forums and websites

• www.ferrariownersclub.co.uk – An international club based in the UK for all things Ferrari
• www.superformance.co.uk – Ferrari parts specialists
• www.talacrest.com – Classic Ferrari specialist and dealer based in Berkshire
• www.clubscuderia.co.uk - International forum for Ferrari owners and enthusiasts

Summary and prices

The Mondial has benefitted from the rise in Ferrari prices in general, and while it was once possible to get your hands on a decent example for £12,000, prices now start at around £20,000. They are still the most cost-effective way to get into a relatively modern Ferrari, and have the added practicality of four seats.
Find a desirable model and prices soon start rising. £70,000 is not unheard of for low mileage 3.4 t convertibles. It isn’t necessary to spend that kind of money to get a well-sorted car though, with £30,000-£40,000 plenty to find a great coupe. 
Find a good example, and you’ll soon be enjoying all the traits that Ferrari become famous for. Who doesn’t want to experience a mid-engined V8, with handling to match? Perhaps the Mondial’s time has finally come. 
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Last updated: 1st Sep 2016
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Ferrari Mondial cars for sale

3 Search results
Ferrari Mondial
34995 49995 GBP
  • Ferrari Mondial 8

    £34,995 £34,995

    About this Ferrari Mondial 8 The Ferrari Mondial designed by Pininfarina of Turin was produced Ferrari between 1980 and 1993; concurrently, for part of that period, with Ferrari's 2-seater 308 GTB/GTS, 328, and 348 sports cars. All major mechanical systems in the Mondial, including engine, transmission, steering and suspension, are either identical to, or very similar to, those used on the matching 2-seater vehicles being produced at around the same time. At their core, all Mondials are fitted with a V8 engine; these engines comprise: a Ferrari-cast lightweight alloy V8 block with 90° bank-angle; a five-bearing, flat-plane crankshaft with belt-driven, quad overhead camshafts (two per cylinder bank). A five-speed, all-indirect manual transmission using a "dog-leg" selector pattern was the only transmission offered. Today, the Mondial 8 is considered one of Ferrari's most practical vehicles, due to its proven drive-train, four seats, and relatively low cost of maintenance (major services can be performed without removing the entire engine/transmission sub-frame). Our Extremely attractive Right Hand Drive example was first registered in March 1982; resplendent in superb Argento paintw

    • Mileage: 55500 mi
    For sale
    Arun Ltd
    01798 874477 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • Ferrari Mondial T

    £49,995 £49,995

    Ferrari had the seemingly insurmountable task of improving upon the extremely versatile and artistically impressive 308 GT4 ‘Dino’ when they designed its replacement: the Mondial 8 in 1980. They succeeded with honours, making the car more spacious, faster, and infinitely more contemporary. Ferrari returned to Pininfarina to take care of the styling of the compact 2+2, which was aimed squarely at the stateside market, Ferrari’s largest at the time. The 5-speed transmission, power steering, air conditioning, electric windows and electric mirrors are all original spec features of this pristine Mondial. It sports the iconic Rosso Corsa body, complimented by Crema hide and red carpet to match. Featuring 5-spoke alloy wheels and remote central locking, this 3.4 T is up to date with a full service, including a fresh cam belt. It has a comprehensive service record, with regular and recent servicing. As well as offering a superb driving experience, this 348 engined Mondial provides generous 2+2 seating, resulting in one of the best mixtures of power and comfort available in a modern classic Ferrari. For more information about this Ferrari 3.4 T, or to arrange an appointment, please contact our sales team on 01474 874555 or 07921 430430.

    • Year: 1990
    • Mileage: 48700 mi
    • Engine size: 3.4
    For sale
  • 1989 Ferrari Mondial-T

    $42,500(£33,171.25) $42,500(£33,171.25)

    This 1989 Ferrari Mondial-T is a very good original driver with just 52k miles. Red with tan interior. It's an extremely clean car in excellent condition overall. Mechanically excellent. A great buy at just $42,500

    • Year: 1989
    For sale
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