Introduced in 1989, the 348 was a major departure for Ferrari’s successful road-going, mid-engine series of sports cars and it replaced two of the most popular Ferrari models in history, the 308 and the 328. The new car featured a pressed-steel monocoque chassis that helped to reduce mass and, in the style of the legendary 288 GTO, it combined a transversely mounted gearbox coupled to a longitudinally mounted engine allowing for a very balanced and agile sports car.
The 348 was luxuriously equipped with air-conditioning and a multitude of power features, making it a much more civilized overall package than its predecessor. It was a watershed design for Ferrari who, for the first time, incorporated innovations learned from Formula One Grand Prix development programs into the basic attributes and configuration of production road cars, a technology that continues today in supercars like the current F430. The 348 also introduced the Ferrari Challenge Series that remains popular with enthusiasts.