In 1980 Ferrari consolidated the structure of its range with two well-defined product lines linked to V12 and V8 engines. The Mondial 8 was unveiled in Geneva as a replacement for the Dino 308 GT4, again in four-seat configuration and with a mid-engine, mounted in front of the rear wheel axle. After the experiment with Bertone and the GT4, Maranello returned permanently to Pininfarina, continuing the theme of the wedge line with radiator grille under the front bumper.
The wheelbase of the Mondial 8 was 10cm longer than the car it replaced and with a wider track, giving more passenger room. The interior was very smart, with a wealth of standard features. It was larger in line with the sizes of 12-cylinder models. The car had big bumpers, two striking air inlets on the side panels, pop-up headlamps and even an optional sunroof. Because of its content, and in terms of ergonomics, reduced fuel consumption and emissions, the Mondial was defined as Ferrari’s first “world car”, or even as a “democratic supercar”, given it was much cheaper than the V12s. Indeed, the name itself might suggest that, but it actually had another double meaning: a tribute to the F1 World Championship won a year earlier and the 500 Mondial barchetta of 1953, named in honour of Ascari’s world championship triumph.
Scaglietti made the first copy of the Sport 500 Mondial on the Dino Ferrari design, starting with a 166. In fact, this car marked the end of the Dino adventure, also given that the latest GT4s sported a Ferrari badge. The engine of the Mondial 8 was the same as the Dino 308 GT4, but the first ever adoption of injection instead of carburettors on a production Ferrari, made the power delivery more fluid. The 214 hp delivers a maximum speed of 230 km/h.
With this model the Ferrari went back on permanent sale in the United States. In 1982 it released an update with the birth of the Mondial 8 Quattrovalvole, which used the new 240 hp 3000 cc V8 engine with four valves per cylinder. Aesthetically, the vehicle was the same as the first series. Along with the Cabriolet, in production since
1983, it is one of the longest lived models in Ferrari history and was restyled again in 1985 and 1989.