In designing its 360 GTC, Ferrari had a lot of previous experience to build upon. After all, it had already made two race versions of the 360 Modena by the time the 360 GTC was introduced in 2003: the 360 Modena Challenge and the 360 GT. Developed by Ferrari’s Corse Clienti department, the final race version of the 360 featured a host of improvements over its predecessor, resulting in the car’s homologation for the FIA GT championships.
The 360 GTC is an Evolution of the 360 GT
Instead of creating a new race-ready 360 from the ground up, Ferrari built upon the great foundation already laid by the 360 GT. The lightweight construction was mostly kept the same, with the kerb weight staying at the regulation limit of 1100 kg. While it still used the same sequential six-speed transmission, the electronics were now bolstered by a Magneti Marelli-sourced upgrade. Power was also improved upon, with the mid-mounted 3.6-litre V8 pumping out 450 bhp in this application, compared to the GT’s 430. Interestingly, one 360 GTC was put on a dyno with the regulation air restrictors removed, and it produced a staggering 550 bhp. Significant improvements were also made to the aerodynamics of the car – the rear wing, front bumper, engine cover, and side skirts were all revised, yielding a much higher downforce at speed than the 360 GT could produce.
Performance of the 360 GTC
While few outlets were given access to the limited-production 360 GTC, some performance numbers were still gathered. Acceleration was predictably brisk, with 0 to 100 km/h arriving in 4.2 seconds. The top speed of very nearly 200 mph is impressive, especially considering the car’s improved downforce. In addition to the improved horsepower, the new engine also managed to better its predecessor’s fuel economy, meaning the car can save weight by holding less fuel than the 360 GT.
Produced mainly in response to Porsche’s impressive new 996GT3 RSR, the 360 GTC represented Ferrari’s ultimate efforts to field a competitive GT race car. With enhancements made to nearly every performance aspect of the car, what resulted was a faster, more aerodynamic, and more efficient racer. The final send-off for Ferrari’s 360 racer was a grand one.