While the Mondial 3.2 was a great improvement over the previous models, the Mondial T represents the final and most significant update the line would receive. With a fancy new engine and gearbox arrangement, the new Mondial would set the stage for future Ferrari V8 models. The “t” in the name was taken from the F1312 T race car that had just brought home the F1 Championship for Ferrari.
New Engine, New Arrangement
“T” also refers to the car’s new engine and transmission arrangement. Instead of the previous Mondials’ transverse engine layout, the new 3.4-litre V8 was now mounted longitudinally, forming a “T” as it hooks up to the transverse transmission. This design allowed for the engine to sit 13 cm lower in the car, for a lower centre of gravity and therefore better handling. This F1-derived arrangement proved a success, with the design remaining in use for Ferrari’s V8 models to this day. Whereas the 3.2 engine from the prior model produced 266 bhp, the T’s new Tipo F119D V8 now made 300 bhp. That’s not all that set the Mondial T apart from its predecessor’s, however. There was also the 3 suspension settings, standard ABS, and power steering.
Stylistically, not, quite as much was changed in creating the Mondial T. There are the trapezoidal rear-wing air intakes, new door handles, and body-coloured bumpers. Also look for the new rectangular pop-up headlights which replaced the circular units from the previous model. A thorough interior refresh also took place, with new instruments, upholstery, and centre console. The 2 + 2 layout’s practicality was enhanced, with the rear seats now able to fold flat, creating a large storage area behind the front seats.
Only 858 Mondial T coupes would ever be made, with production lasting from 1989 to 1993. This final evolution of the Mondial would prove popular with the public. Many reviewers found it to be a highly desirable design, and that impression has lasted, making this one of the most popular Mondials ever.