Despite being a Ferrari, the 348 isn't really a car we spend much time thinking about here at Road & Track. The most notable thing about the 348 was that it was so thoroughly trounced by the better-to-drive, more reliable Acura NSX, it forced Ferrari to step up its game for its next mid-engine V8, the F355. Until today, had totally forgotten that Ferrari sold a 348 Speciale.
Yep, that's the same name that was later applied to one of Ferrari's all-time greats, the 458 Speciale. was much rarer though—just 100 examples were built, all for the American market, and only 35 of which were coupes. Arguably, the 458 is a lot more "special" than its predecessor.
For the Serie Speciale, Ferrari fit the 348's 3.4-liter V8 with upgrades developed for the then-new Spider version of the car—a freer-flowing exhaust and a new engine management system bumped horsepower from 300 to 312. Body colored front and rear splitters as well as new side skirts were also fitted, to give the 348 Speciale a racier look. The 348 Speciale also got different rear tail lights and interestingly, the carbon fiber bucket seats from the F40 were an option.
MotorWeek tested a yellow 348 Speciale coupe back in 1993 and liked it, even though it doesn't sound like it was a huge improvement over the regular 348. Price for all the 100 examples built was set at $112,000.
There's actually now for $145,000. That's a lot cheaper than a 458 Speciale, but we'd argue that the newer model is a lot more car.