By 1985, it was well known that Ferrari’s Mondial 8 had a power problem. Ferrari had addressed this issue, to some success, with the 1982 Mondial QV, but for 1985 they really upped the ante. Dubbed the 3.2 Mondial Cabriolet for theconvertible version, Ferrari’s small V8 car sported a larger engine, now displacing 3.2 litres. Essentially just a bored and stroked version of the 3.0-litre V8 from the QV, the 3.2’s engine now produced 270 bhp, a welcome upgrade over the rather weak 214 managed by the Mondial 8 and even the 240 bhp put out by the QV’s four-valve-per-head design. Torque for the 3.2 stood at 304 Nm. Unlike with its QV update to the Mondial line, Ferrari made sure to pay attention to more than just the engine in creating the new 3.2 Mondial Cabriolet.
As with the coupe version, the convertible version of the 3.2 Mondial received styling that put the car in line with other offerings from Ferrari, such as the new -for-1985 328. Most significantly, the 3.2 received body-coloured bumpers, updated alloy wheels, and a much-improved interior. A new front grille integrated the lights and radiator grille into one assembly, drawing the Mondial stylistically close to the 328. While still a 5-spoke design, the new wheels used a convex layout, necessary to make room for ABS brakes which would become a standard feature for the 1987. Ferrari didn’t completely rewrite the book with the 3.2 however, as they smartly retained the original Mondial’s excellently-balanced handling, flexible 2+2 layout, and 5-speed synchromesh transmission.
Like the Mondial 8 and QV before it, the 3.2 Cabriolet retained the unique rear sub-frame design that allowed for the engine, rear suspension, and transmission to be removed all at once for ease of maintenance. This is one of the reasons the 3.2 Mondial has proven to be such a popular model; a great combination of power and low running costs. As production ended in 1988, a total of 810 Mondial 3.2s Cabriolets had been produced. Ferrari resumed production the following year with the Mondial tversion of the car, which included many great improvements but failed to retain the simple maintenance routine of its predecessors.