Dino is one of the most evocative, though long-dormant nameplates in automotive history. Coined after Ferrari founder Enzo’s son, the badge was on a series of smaller and more affordable mid-engine sports cars produced between 1968 and 1976, and now Ferrari’s boss says it could come back with an all-new Ferrari/Dino model.
“It’s a when not an if,” says Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, majority owner of the Italian sports car maker. “We know that the Dino is an under-used resource, but that’s why we need to get it right.”
He agrees that a Dino model could have around 500-horsepower, be smaller and lighter than the mid-engine, V8-powered 488, and could even have a V6 engine just like the original Dinos. Ferrari collaborated on the development of the V6 engine design for Maserati and forthcoming Alfa Romeo models. A future Dino-badged model could share the same engine. “The six-cylinder response has been positive,” says the CEO.
Just don’t go thinking that such a car would be a cheaper Ferrari. Marchionne is adamant that a Dino would not be seen as, or indeed be, a budget Ferrari. There is the possibility that Dino could be launched as a standalone brand, just as it was at one time in the Seventies. “You don’t screw around with the interests of your customers,” says Marchionne, admitting he hated the Porsche Boxster model because it was seen as a cheap Porsche.
Dino was originally created to compete with Porsche’s 911. Enzo reasoned that he didn’t want to reduce the price of his more expensive models to compete with the more affordable German sports car. Ferrari could do good business in a lower-priced arena, but Marchionne is clear that he wouldn’t chase sales at the expense of the brand. “I would never try to sell another 500 cars at the expense of the Ferrari name,” he says.