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(VIN: ZFFYU51A710123129), INFORMATION COMING SOON!!
Tires: TBA (265/30-19f & 345/25-20r) with Tread Measurements: DF: 8/32, PF: 8/32, DR: 7/32, PR: 732
(10/32 is new tire tread depth).
10/18/2012 - purchased by first owner in Evansville, IN and registered in Evansville, IN
10/20/2018 - vehicle offered for sale by Buxton Motorsports in Evansville, IN
History of service:
08/30/2012 - trunk weather stripping replaced @ 4,719 miles
12/30/2014 - maintenance inspection completed incl. oil change @ 5,572 miles
07/28/2015 - maintenance inspection completed incl. oil change, new battery and wiring harness for trickle charger @ 5,669 miles
08/14/2018 - maintenance inspection completed and clutch master cylinder replaced @ 5,999 miles
Emotion in Motion
By Karl Brauer, Editor in Chief, Edmunds.com Email | Blog
Date posted: 09-30-2004
The Ferrari 360 model first hit the market in 1999 as a replacement for
the Ferrari F355. Ask anyone who's driven both and they will assure you
that the Ferrari 360 was a tremendous leap forward from the F355, both
in terms of performance and packaging. The 360's interior offered
superior space and comfort, and the immediacy with which the car
responded to steering and brake inputs had many enthusiasts labeling it
"the best sports car ever."
Five years later, the supercar market has become quite crowded, with
new entries from the likes of Lamborghini, Porsche and even Ford.
Nearly all of these makers had the Ferrari 360 squarely in its sights
when they developed their competitive models (Lamborghini Gallardo,
Porsche 911 GT2 and GT, respectively). Ford went so far as to buy a
Ferrari 360 Modena and tear it apart to figure out how the company had
built the ultimate sports car. Yet, Ferrari seems to be taking the move
in stride, knowing full well what the sincerest form of flattery is.
We were fortunate enough to land a ride in a 2004 Ferrari 360 Spider,
equipped with the Formula One transmission, up to Monterey for the 2004
Monterey Historics and Pebble Beach Weekend. The trip was part of the
7th Annual Ferrari Challenge Rally, and as you can imagine, if driving
a Ferrari is rewarding, driving a convertible Ferrari through
California, with nearly 50 other Ferraris, is about as close to sports
car nirvana as it gets.
But even without the company of other Ferraris, the Ferrari 360 Spider
offers plenty of entertainment. Its midengine aluminum chassis, active
double-wishbone suspension (also constructed of aluminum) and wide
track design imbue the car with otherworldly handling qualities, making
it feel as capable as anything we've driven. Yet, the Ford GT has it
beat (just barely) by offering up similar all-out handling performance
along with superior ride quality. The car never feels harsh, but you
are aware of every bump in the road. A good thing — for the most part —
in a car like this, but long-distance touring can get old due to the
amount of road surface information constantly coming through the
steering wheel and seat.
Body roll is essentially nonexistent with the active suspension placed
in "Sport" mode, and its ability to track over bumps without upsetting
the chassis is spot-on thanks to electronic dampers that take a mere
0.04 second to react. Cowl shake is miniscule (but perceptible) over
larger bumps, though it's never enough to distract the driver or dampen
confidence while flinging the Spider along snaking canyon roads. When
not in "Sport" mode the 360 Spider softens a bit, improving its ride
while allowing for greater body roll.
Feeding this advanced suspension is a steering system that feels better
than any we've ever tested. Although close, the 360 is superior to
Porsche's excellent Boxster and 911 in terms of overall feedback,
precision and vehicle response. In terms of refinement, it absolutely
trounces the Chevy Corvette and Dodge Viper while also edging out the
Ford GT. Of course, the Ferrari 360 Spider costs more than any of those
cars, but it's in these subtle areas (steering feedback and chassis
dynamics) that the Ferrari's higher cost of entry begins to make sense.
The 360 isn't substantially better than a 911 or Ford GT in terms of
pure steering bliss, but it is better, and at this level of
performance, even fine degrees of "better" cost money.
The steering wheel itself is pretty simple in terms of design and
materials quality, but it's perfectly sized (with a large, grippy rim)
to make it very effective. No audio or cruise controls. No fancy
metallic inserts. Just a focused tool that really works, much like the
rest of the car.
Yet, despite the 360's magical driving dynamics, with this car it's all
about the engine. Not just in terms of acceleration — the car reaches
60 mph in about 4.5 seconds — but also in terms of sound and emotion.
The 3.6-liter's engine note isn't as throaty as an American V8; it
sounds more like a Ducati V-twin than any other four-wheeled conveyance
we've experienced (except for a Stradale). It's also more visceral than
anything we've driven and, along with the steering, that is one of the
elements that separates it from Porsches, Aston Martins and Ford's new
Unfortunately, it doesn't have any torque below 4,000 rpm, which is
where the Ford smokes this one (literally). The Ferrari 360 Stradale
weighs less and has more torque and horsepower, so it feels much
livelier, as do Porsche's various horizontally opposed engines. For the
fastest launches, you have to turn off traction control, floor the
throttle and be ready to shift before the engine hits its rev limiter
at around 9,000 rpm (redline is at 8,500). Even with the F1
transmission, you have to be on your toes (eh, make that fingers) to
beat the rev limiter, as the engine's lack of alacrity vanishes above
4,000 rpm. From that point on, the V8 becomes a fiery demon of noise
and power, rocketing the 360 Spider forward while emitting a shriek
that can both frighten and delight — usually both.
The F1 transmission has been refined by Ferrari over the past few
years, and in its current form it works well enough. There's still the
occasional lurch between gears, especially during the 1-2 upshift, but
low-speed engagement is relatively smooth. BMW's SMG still feels
better, and the Audi TT's DSG system far exceeds this one's refinement
level. The problem with the BMW and Ferrari trannies is that they still
behave like what they are: manual transmissions pretending to be
automatics. When left in "Auto" mode, this one doesn't downshift
readily enough, and it won't go into first gear by itself unless the
car comes to a complete stop. When you combine this behavior with the
engine's lack of torque below 4,000 rpm, you find yourself regularly
lugging the engine unless you take control and manually downshift the
transmission every time you drop below 25 mph. And unlike Audi's
system, the first manual shift knocks the F1 tranny out of "Auto" mode,
meaning there's little reason to use the automatic mode during
low-speed conditions unless you want to keep turning it back on.
There's also an element of connection with the car that is lost by not
having to row the gears manually, and there's still the inevitable head
toss during upshifts when left in "Auto" mode, something the Audi
system has eliminated. If the engine had more torque and the
transmission worked liked Audi's, it would be a viable alternative to
the classic Ferrari metal-gated shifter. Thankfully, when driven like a
Ferrari is meant to be driven, the F1 does indeed provide quicker
(150-millisecond), smoother shifts. Downshifts are particularly
enjoyable due to the F1's throttle-blipping/rev-matching abilities that
keep the chassis settled and the driver focused on other things, such
as the fabulous steering and highly capable brakes.
For those times when you aren't pretending to be Michael Schumacher,
the 360 Spider makes for a surprisingly civil companion. Our test car
had the optional Daytona seats, and these provide excellent side
bolstering and lumbar support. Seat controls consist of power
adjustments for the seat bottom and seat back angle as well as a power
lumbar adjustment. There was also a manual twist knob on the inside of
the seat back to adjust the lateral bolstering cushions. Legroom and
headroom proved adequate, if not abundant, and the quality of the
leather reflected the 360's price tag. Seat comfort/style is yet
another area where Ferrari continues to outpace its primary competitors.
Like most midengine cars, rear visibility in the Ferrari 360 Spider is
atrocious. The high rear deck, thick roll hoops and rear fairings
behind the seats make it hard to see out back, even with the top down.
Gazing forward and over the rising "humps" above each wheel well is
inspiring. The most distracting visual element is the shiny, exterior
panel just behind the roll hoops. It's obviously meant to look good
when the top is down (like any exterior body panel), but these areas
cause reflections that make you think a vehicle is in your blind spot
whenever you want to move into the right lane. We found ourselves
constantly having to look twice to confirm whether a car was really
there, or if it was just a passing reflection off of this panel.
Raising the fully automatic top somewhat reduced the mirror effect on
these panels. It only takes about 25 seconds, but there's a fair amount
of whining noise during the process, certainly more than we remember in
any 911 or Mercedes convertibles. The plastic rear window similarly
disappointed us, as did the fact that the top material was already
retaining wrinkles when up, even after only 2,000 miles on the
odometer. At least the top tucks under a hard tonneau cover when
lowered, giving the car a clean (if somewhat chunky through the
Wind noise, with the top up or down, is effectively drowned out (as is
tire noise) by the engine's roar. This isn't necessarily a bad thing
since it sounds fantastic, but if at some point you get a hankering for
less engine noise, there's not much you can do (putting the top up
reduces it marginally). Air management is excellent because of the high
rear deck, roll hoops, three-piece wind blocker (one inside each roll
hoop and a removable section between the roll hoops) and sweptback
windshield. In this way, the 360 Spider feels more like a targa than a
true convertible. With the side windows down, wind buffeting isn't an
issue below 70 mph, and with them up, it remains calm in the cabin up
Ferrari kept the 360's interior very simple and straightforward. Unlike
many of today's premium vehicles, the climate control vents are not
ringed in a metallic finish, the gauges aren't lit by
electroluminescence, and the dash has a simple shape with a basic
two-tone leather design (black on top, tan on the bottom). All 360s
feature standard metallic trim around the center stack, on the center
console and on the lower door panels. The hand-stitched leather looks
and feels better than what you'll find in a Porsche and about on par
with that of the Lamborghini Gallardo.
In terms of its basic design and purpose, the Ferrari 360 Spider isn't
that different from, say, a Porsche Boxster S. Both are midengine
designs mounted on stiff structures. Both offer excellent steering,
superb suspension tuning and excellent brakes. Both are a thrill ride
when driven hard. But the Ferrari has that subtle yet undeniable
advantage in the areas of steering and suspension tuning that neither a
Boxster S nor even a 911 Turbo can match. The steering is more
communicative and telepathic. The suspension is more informative as to
the nature of the tires' grip and chassis' dynamics. As a result, it
handles better and feels far more nimble than it looks. Its wide stance
and somewhat "heavy" styling cues (such as the high rear deck and
fairings behind the seats) suggest it will be a handful around corners.
But drive it hard and its go-kartlike nature emerges, allowing the car
to turn instantaneously and shoot rapidly from corner to corner (as
long as the engine is in the sweet zone).
It's these types of intangible elements that separate the Ferrari 360
Spider from similarly priced competitors. They can't be tracked by
performance testing equipment, and they can't easily be described. But
they do exist, and currently strong market values for 360 models
suggest that more than enough people know about them.
The replacement for the 2004 Ferrari 360 Spider will be in showrooms in
a matter of months, and that car is said to have more torque and an
improved F1 transmission. If both rumors are true, we could be looking
at the greatest sports car on the planet.
Sounds familiar, don't it?
Components: The 360 uses the same Becker head unit as Porsche and, now,
Chrysler in the Crossfire. This means only a single CD slot behind the
head unit's display, though a dealer-installed CD changer is available.
There is one midrange speaker in each door and two bass drivers mounted
between the seats. And there's one small tweeter near the top/front of
each door, just below the A-pillar.
Performance: This Becker head unit uses too many tiny buttons, a small
display that's difficult to read, and a complex menu system for items
like manually adjusting the radio and tonal settings. Why various
European automakers continue to use it is beyond us. Sound quality was
excellent, as the system did a commendable job of drowning out engine
and wind noise, even at highway speeds. Plenty of power and effective
separation and imaging.
It has never been in the rain and really shows no wear or use anywhere. The body shows no dents,
dings or paint
flaws, the glass is excellent with no chips or other marks, the bed and engine compartment are both like
new. All the rims are clean with no curb marks or scuffs, really
about as nice as a pre-owned vehicle comes. Nothing
else to reasonably fault, the full set of photos show the condition, so please request and review them.
Numerical Condition Evaluation:
(1 denotes Very Poor
/ Item needs
replacement, 10 denotes Excellent / Showroom New)
CONV. TOP: n/a
INT. CARPETING: 10
SERVICE RECORDS /
OWNERSHIP HISTORY: 10
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