It’s lain dormant for almost 40 years, but the Dino brand — named after Ferrari founder Enzo’s son and used for a series of more affordable mid-engined sports cars — is to make a comeback on the rump of an all-new Ferrari model.
Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of Ferrari’s majority owner Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, said: “It’s a when, not an if. We know that it [Dino] is an underused resource, but that’s why we need to get it right.”
According to Marchionne, the new Dino could have about 500bhp, be smaller and lighter than today’s V8-engined 488 GTB, and use a V6, just like the original Dino. Ferrari was recently involved in the development of a V6 engine that will go into forthcoming Maserati and Alfa Romeo models, and a future Dino could use this. “The six-cylinder response has been positive,” Marchionne said.
Don’t go thinking that such a car would be a cheaper Ferrari, though. Marchionne is adamant that it should not be seen as, or indeed be, a budget Ferrari. “You don’t screw around with the interests of your customers,” Marchionne said, before admitting that he hated the Porsche Boxster when it came out, because it was seen as a cheap Porsche.
The first Dino was created to compete with Porsche’s 911, after Enzo decided he didn’t want to reduce the prices of his V12 models to compete with the German sports car.
With Porsche 911s currently priced from £73,000 ($158,000), Ferrari could certainly do good business in that arena, but Marchionne is clear that he won’t chase sales if there’s a risk of compromising the brand. “I would never try to sell another 500 cars at the expense of the Ferrari name,” he said.