The cheapest Ferrari might seem like a cheesy title. Because let’s be honest: an expensive car never will become cheap. Yes, read that sentence again. While the price of an expensive car might come down over time. The bills of running and maintaining an expensive or exclusive car never are cheap.
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That name… Ferrari…
Ferrari. Possibly the most valuable name in the automotive industry. It doesn’t need an introduction. Everybody, of all ages, knows this magic name. It carries an undeniable air of prestige, the resonating sound of a roaring engine, and the luxurious luster of Italian craftsmanship that has captured the hearts of car enthusiasts worldwide. But let’s face it, owning a Ferrari often seems more like a dream than reality, reserved only for the elite, for the lucky few who can easily part with several hundred thousand dollars, sometimes even millions.
However, it might surprise you to know that owning a Ferrari isn’t just a pipe dream. It can be a reality, even for those of us who aren’t sipping champagne on our private yachts. There are indeed affordable Ferrari models available that, while they might not be the latest and greatest, can still provide that unmatched Ferrari experience.
Owning a Ferrari: A Unique Experience
Before we delve into the Ferrari models that won’t require you to break the bank, it’s worth spending a moment discussing what makes owning a Ferrari so special. While I’ve never owned one, I’ve talked to several owners. It all comes down to something like this:
The experience begins as soon as you see the car: literally, all models have something special. Something you can’t capture in a picture. The enchantment begins immediately. And if you are lucky enough to have the keys it continues inside. High-end materials and hand-made finishes drown you in a world of luxury. And then it really begins: you turn the key and awaken that powerful engine. It’s in the rush of adrenaline you feel when you hit the accelerator and listen to the symphony of sound that fills the cabin. Whether it’s a good old 308 GTS with carburetors or the mighty V12 of an 812 Superfast, they will make you smile. And then you start driving. It’s not only your feeling but also that of others. It’s in the knowing glances and appreciative nods you receive as you cruise down the street. It’s in the pure pleasure of handling a vehicle designed with such devotion to performance and aesthetics.
But owning a Ferrari is not all about the adrenaline rush or the appreciative glances. It is also about being part of an exclusive community, a club of car enthusiasts who appreciate the intricacy, heritage, and passion that is the cornerstone of the Ferrari brand…
The Cost of Enjoying Your Ferrari
When considering the cost of owning a Ferrari, it’s crucial to look beyond the initial purchase price. Yes, that’s often the most substantial number, but there are more costs than simply buying a Ferrari. Some may call them straight-on money pits, but as a car enthusiast, I usually just ignore those nay-sayers. But if you’re serious about owning a Ferrari, it’s important to dive into some costs to enjoy the car:
The maintenance for these Italian beauties, as you might expect, isn’t cheap. Even the most affordable Ferrari models still require expert (read: expensive) care. Routine maintenance can run you several thousand dollars a year, especially as these cars age. And that is when nothing breaks. But as with most Italian cars, things will break eventually. Expect 5-figure bills when things break.
- Wear & tear
Normal wear and tear is also very costly as brake pads, calipers, suspension, and tires are also in the highest range of pricing. And if you ride your Ferrari like you should; things can wear off quickly.
Insurance rates are another consideration, given the high-performance nature of Ferraris. However, many insurance companies do consider that these are often ‘weekend cars’ or ‘classics’, and their lower yearly mileage can help to offset some of that cost.
Don’t expect your Ferrari to be economical. Save enough money for fuel, Ferraris are very, very thirsty! But if this is something that bothers you, go buy that Prius instead…
Yeah, I used a question mark there. This is often the largest cost for new Ferraris. The value of the car can depreciate significantly in the first few years, although for some limited-edition models, the value may appreciate instead. For older, used Ferraris that I’m describing later, prices are very stable and some even might increase over time. But remember: this is never guaranteed!
PS. Didn’t I mention taxes? Well, these should not be forgotten. But they depend on which area you are located. Here it the Netherlands, taxes are crazy…
If you think you can handle all this, you might be ready for buying one of the cheapest Ferrari models out there.
Cheapest Ferrari Models
2023 price range: between $40,000 and $60,000.
The Ferrari Mondial is probably the most affordable way to own a Ferrari. It’s unique among its models due to the 2+2 body style, meaning it has four seating positions. This makes it more practical than the Ferrari sports cars with two seats.
The Mondial was produced from 1980 until 1993. It underwent many changes during its lifetime. The Mondial 8 was first introduced at the 1980 Geneva Auto Salon. The name “Mondial”, a reference to Ferrari’s 500 Mondial racecar from the 1950s was used, and the “8” was the engine of the car, a 3.0L. The Mondial 8 was a mid-engine car with 214 horsepower.
In 1982, the Quattrovalvole was introduced. This improved the power output from 240 to 240 horsepower. In 1985, the 3.2 Mondial was introduced, with a larger engine of 3.2 liters and 270 horsepower. It also offered better performance.
The Mondial t was the final, and most powerful, iteration, which arrived in 1989. It was produced up until 1993. This version featured a powerful 3.4L engine that produced 300 horsepower and major mechanical changes. The “t” referred to the new engine layout and gearbox that was similar to the Ferrari F1 cars at the time.
Pininfarina designed the Mondial as it did many Ferrari models. The Mondial’s styling emphasized functionality without compromising the sportiness of a Ferrari. The interior was larger and more comfortable, with a good amount of luggage room.
The Mondial is a great choice for first-time Ferrari owners. Its unique combination of practicality and classic Ferrari design combined with its relative affordability make it a popular option.
Ferrari 308 GTB/GTS
2023 price range: from $65,000 and wel over $100,000.
The Ferrari 308 GTB was manufactured between 1975 and 1985. The ‘GTB,’ refers to Gran Turismo Berlinetta (coupe) and the ‘GTS,’ to Gran Turismo Spider (targa/cabriolet).
Leonardo Fioravanti, a Pininfarina designer who designed Ferrari’s iconic models in the past, designed the 308 GTB/GTS. The styling of 308 GTB/GTS is a radical departure from the Dino 246 with its angular lines, prominent egg-crate grille, and angular shapes.
The model became famous as the car Tom Selleck drove in the TV series “Magnum, P.I.” This role catapulted the already stunning car into a symbol of 80s culture and brand.
The 308 series is powered by a 3.0-liter 8-cylinder V8 engine. This engine produced 255 horsepower in the 308 GTB original model. It was equipped with four Weber twin-choke carburetors. Ferrari introduced the 308 GTBi/GTSi in 1980. The ‘i’ stands for ‘injection,’ which signifies the switch to fuel-injection. This was done in response to stricter emission regulations that resulted in a power reduction to 214 horsepower.
With its rear-wheel drive layout and mid-engine design, the 308 series is known for its sporty performance, balanced handling, and dynamic performance. It is still admired by many Ferrari enthusiasts, despite its age. They love the pure driving experience it offers and its classic aura. The 308 GTB/GTS may not be today’s fastest or most powerful Ferrari, but it is still a classic that is pretty reliable, making it one of the top choices to own a Ferrari on a budget. But beware; at the time I’m writing this article, the prices are already slowly increasing.
2023 price range: between $80,000 and $120,000.
The Ferrari F355 was produced between 1994 and 1999. It was the successor of the Ferrari 348, which often is called one of the worst Ferraris ever built. So the F355 was improved in almost every aspect. The name F355 refers to a 3.5-liter capacity engine with 5 valves per cylinder.
Ferrari and Pininfarina collaborated on the design of the F355. The F355 is often considered one of the most beautiful Ferraris ever built, with its blend of smooth curves combined with aggressive lines that hint to the car’s performance abilities.
Aerodynamics was also improved over the 348 model. The F355 featured an underbody spoiler as well as other aerodynamic devices to increase downforce. The car could reach a top speed of 183mph and accelerate from 0-60mph in just 4.7 seconds.
The F355 is powered by a V8 3.5-liter that produces 375 hp. Astronomical at that time. The F355 is notable for its high power output, which at the time was 107 horsepower per 1 liter. The engine came with a six-speed manual transmission. Later models had an electrohydraulic transmission in F1 style, which was a first.
The F355’s handling was also a strong point, thanks to the electronically adjustable damping systems. The system had two settings: Comfort and Sport. This allowed the driver to customize the handling characteristics of the car to match their driving style or the road conditions.
The F355 came in three body types – Berlinetta coupes, Spider convertibles, and GTS with a Targa top. Each variant maintained the F355’s impressive handling and performance characteristics while providing a different level of open-air driving.
While the F355 was overlooked by collectors for a long time, prices seem to be on the rise in the last couple of years. So if you want to own one for a reasonable price, you shouldn’t wait too long!
Ferrari 360 Modena
2023 price range: between $75,000 and $120,000.
The Ferrari 360 Modena was produced from 1999 to 2004. It represented a significant step forward in Ferrari’s technology and design. It was named after the town of Modena, where Enzo Ferrari was born. It was designed to replace the Ferrari F355.
The 360 Modena’s lightweight construction is one of its key features. This was the first Ferrari production car to be made entirely from aluminum. The body was therefore 40% stiffer, and 28% lighter, than the F355. This improved rigidity and weight reduction contributed to superior handling and performance.
The 360 Modena is powered by a 3.6 liter V8 engine, which produces 400 horsepower and torque of 275 pounds feet. The mid-mounted V8 engine was able to accelerate the car 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds and reach a maximum speed of 183 mph.
The car’s aerodynamics was another feature that stood out. The 360 Modena is a sleek and smooth design with no visible spoilers. It generates a significant amount of downforce despite this due to clever design features like the flat bottom, and two rear diffusers.
The 360 lineup included the Modena Coupe, the Spider convertible, and the Challenge Stradale – a variant with higher performance and lower weight (which is extremely expensive!). The 360 Modena is also a car that was produced in large (relatively) quantities (over 16,000 cars!), so there is still a lot of demand, which pressurizes prices and makes this one of the cheapest Ferraris out there.
2023 price range: between $75,000 and $150,000.
‘This is no real Ferrari’ is what a lot of people said. Well, they’ve obviously never driven one but let me be clear here: the Ferrari California is a damn real Ferrari!
Produced between 2008 and 2017, it was the first Ferrari to feature a front-engine V8. This 4.3-liter engine produced 453 horsepower and 358 pound-feet of torque in the initial model. The California T, introduced in 2014, featured a new twin-turbocharged 3.9-liter V8, increasing the power output to 552 horsepower.
It was also the first Ferrari to use a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. This transmission provided very fast shift times and contributed to the car’s impressive performance, accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds.
Another scoop was that the California was the first Ferrari with a folding metal roof. The hardtop convertible configuration offered the comfort and security of a coupe when the roof was up and the thrill of open-air driving when it was down.
The car’s design, a collaboration between Ferrari and Pininfarina, aimed to strike a balance between the car’s sporty performance and the comfort expected of a grand tourer. The design echoed some classic Ferrari models, like the 1957 250 California, but with a modern touch.
Inside, the California was equipped with luxury amenities, making it suitable for longer journeys as well as spirited driving. It also featured a 2+2 seating arrangement, though the rear seats are quite small and are better suited for luggage or occasional use.
The California underwent a significant facelift in 2012, known as the California 30, where ’30’ represented a 30 kg weight reduction and a 30 horsepower increase.
Just like the 360 Modena, it was a big success with relatively large production numbers. Over 17,000 cars were produced, so there are still a lot of California’s out there!
Ferrari 456 GT
The Ferrari 456 was a grand tourer with a front engine that was manufactured from 1992 to 2002. The Ferrari 456 is named according to the cubic centimeters of each cylinder, which has been a Ferrari tradition for many years.
The 456 is a high performance car, but it’s also comfortable for everyday driving and long trips. It was fitted with a leather-trimmed interior, and had a 2-plus-2 seating configuration.
The 456’s heart is its 5.5-liter, V12 engine that produced 436 horsepower when it was first introduced as the 456 GT. The engine was paired to a six-speed transmission. Later models, called 456 GTA offered a four speed automatic transmission.
The 456 was a four-seater car that was among the fastest of its day. It was able to accelerate from 0-60 mph in only 5.2 seconds, and reached a top-speed of 188 mph. The 456 was built to be a refined and comfortable car for long distance travel, despite its high performance.
The design of the car, another collaboration between Ferrari Pininfarina was classic and understated. The car’s design was classic and understated. It didn’t have the aerodynamics or bold lines that some modern Ferrari models had, but it did have smooth curves.
Ferrari launched the 456M Modificata in 1998. It featured numerous updates for the engine, aerodynamics and cooling as well as the interior. The exterior shape was only slightly altered. The same 5.5-liter V12 was used, but it had several improvements to improve performance and smooth operation.
The 456 is often overshadowed in Ferrari history by other models. However, it’s a powerful, refined grand tourer which combines performance, luxury, and practicality.
Ferrari 612 Scaglieti
Another grand tourer, produced between 2004 and 2011: The Ferrari 612 Scaglietti. It was designed to replace the Ferrari 456. The car was named after Sergio Scaglietti: a famous Italian coachbuilder, collaborator and Ferrari designer who played a major role in the development of many early Ferrari models. The number ‘612 represents the engine capacity in cubic centimeters as well as the number of cylinders.
The 612 Scaglietti has a 5.7 liter V12 engine, which produces 533 horsepower. It also has 434 pound feet of torque. The 612 can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds, and reach a maximum speed of 196 miles per hour. The engine could be paired either with a six-speed manual transmission, or a semi-automatic 6-speed ‘F1 transmission.
The 612 Scaglietti’s design is a mixture of classic and modern, with hints from past models such as the 375 MM which was built specifically for Ingrid Bergman. The 360 Modena was Ferrari’s first all-aluminum car. This led to improved handling because of the lighter weight and stiffer structure.
The 612’s interior is luxuriously decorated with leather, and offers a high degree of comfort. This makes it a great vehicle for long trips. The 612 Scaglietti has two smaller rear seats, which makes it one of Ferrari’s more practical models.
The 612 Scaglietti, despite its size and a more comfort-oriented focus, didn’t sacrifice driving dynamics. The 612 Scaglietti offers a driving experience that is typical of Ferrari sports cars.
Should you buy one of the cheapest Ferrari models?
This was a short round-up of some of the most affordable Ferraris available today. Although owning a Ferrari does come with its set of expenses, these models make it far more achievable for car enthusiasts to experience the prestige, power, and sheer joy that come with being a Ferrari owner.
While it’s essential to keep maintenance and insurance costs in mind when purchasing a Ferrari, don’t forget that owning such a vehicle is about more than just costs. It’s about the experience, the community, and the lifelong dream of driving a car with the prancing horse emblem. You will forgive the car all of his flaws ’cause it’s a Ferrari’.
So, whether you’re a seasoned car collector or a budding enthusiast, the affordable Ferrari of your dreams might just be within your reach. After all, why dream when you can drive?
Looking for the cheapest NEW Ferrari?
If you’re in the market for a new Ferrari, you obviously need to bring in some more cash. But, on the other hand: the new Ferraris come with a 7-year maintenance and warranty program, which lets you enjoy your Ferrari without the headache of riding a money pit. The two entry-level Ferraris are the Ferrari Roma with a starting price of $243,000 and the Ferrari Portofino with a starting price of $256,000.
Ferrari price list (2023)
|Ferrari Portofino M||$246,102|
|Ferrari Roma Spider||$247,310|
|Ferrari F8 Tributo||€283,950|
|Ferrari F8 Spider||$324,342|
|Ferrari 296 GTB||$338,255|
|Ferrari 296 GTS||$371,139|
|Ferrari 812 GTS||$429,815|
|Ferrari SF90 Stradale||$524,815|
|Ferrari SF90 Spider||$575,445|