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Ferrari Is Responsible for the Most Underpowered Car of All Time

Ferrari may have a reputation for putting out luxurious, high-powered vehicles, but not every model can be a winner. The Ferrari Mondial 8 is a ridiculously underpowered car, Motor1 reports. Car and Driver road tests even found that the Mondial 8 made 0 to 60 mph in over 9.5 seconds — definitely not what you’d expect from this automaker.

The Ferrari Mondial 8’s history

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Ferrari first introduced the Mondial 8 in 1980 as a replacement for the 308/208 GT4 coupe. Not many of these vehicles produced: 147 were imported to the United States and Canada, and only 703 were made in total. 

The Mondial 8 had the last 2+2 V8 engine this automaker would produce for over 20 years. Inspired by the Ferrari Dino, the Mondial 8’s V8 was a mid/rear mount. While this vehicle wasn’t necessarily bulky, it was slightly bigger than previous models, with 3.9 inches added to the chassis. 

A shockingly underpowered car

The Mondial 8 was never destined for speed. With it weighing in at 3,459 pounds, this vehicle was so heavy that even a more powerful engine would have struggled to move it quickly. As it was, the Mondial 8 was underpowered, making just 214 hp. (For context, even large, blocky minivans often earn more than this — consider the 2019 GMC Savana, which gets 276 hp.)

It’s no wonder that Car and Driver ranked this Ferrari as the most underpowered car of all time. Road and Track’s road tests confirmed Car and Driver’s, finding that the Mondial 8 had an abysmally slow acceleration rate and quite a few other issues that made it pale in comparison to its rivals.

How the Mondial 8 fell short of the competition

The Mondial 8 wasn’t just an underpowered car — it was also expensive, coming in at around $64,000. With a Ferrari price tag but an unimpressive performance, other luxury cars had a definite edge. The Porsche 930 Turbo, for example, cost nearly $26,000 less than the Mondial 8, and it got 300 hp.

As if that weren’t enough, this Ferrari was surprisingly unreliable. In particular, its Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection system consistently had problems. The fuel injection system had no computer control and was instead entirely mechanical, making its cold start sequence notoriously unreliable.

The Mondial 8’s gearbox was another area with ongoing reliability issues. It was so unreliable that Road and Track even had a faulty one during their test drive.

Did this Ferrari have any redeeming qualities?

It’s rare for any vehicle to be a complete dud, and the Mondial 8 was no exception. Although it was undeniably underpowered, reasonably unreliable, and drastically overpriced, this car had one significant advantage: it was the cheapest Ferrari to maintain.

This ease of maintenance had to do with the Mondial 8’s construction. Its suspension had Koni dampers and unequal-length double wishbones. As a result, mechanics didn’t need to remove the whole engine/transmission subframe to perform any major services.

Additionally, while this may not be an incredibly powerful or well-designed vehicle, it does boast a little star power from its name alone. As Motor1 puts it, “It’s still a Ferrari.” Its unique history, luxury badge, and current attainability could make the Mondial 8 somewhat appealing for car enthusiasts who prioritize a vehicle’s background rather than its performance.

Overall, though, the Mondial 8 left a lot to be desired. With a luxury price tag and a decidedly non-luxury performance, this underpowered car will go down as one of Ferrari’s major disappointments.

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