Ferrari Dino: 600bhp V6 sports car due late this decade

Published: 09 September 2015

► CAR's artist's impression of Ferrari Dino
► Plus spyshots of V6 prototype
► 2.9-litre V6 with 450bhp or 600bhp 

The new Septemeber 2015 issue of CAR magazine gives the best look yet at the planned Ferrari Dino, one of a number of new sports cars planned by Maranello to ensure its survival in a downsized, CO2-obsessed world. Don't go expecting a budget Ferrari - it's anything but cheap, with a price pegged around €185,000 (£135,000) when sales start around the end of the decade.

Our artist's impression shows how the mid-engined, two-seater Dino is expected to look and is based on detailed insider information. There's a hint of the original 1965 Dino show car's low-set headlight treatment, and more than a few shades of 2013's Ferrari 458-based Pininfarina Sergio concept.

The junior sports car will be based on Ferrari's new, flexible architecture destined for most of its range; the platform will be crafted largely from aluminium to trim weight; and, in the case of the Dino, it will be powered by a new 2.9-litre V6 available in two power outputs.

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has recently confirmed the Dino project is active. He told the Daily Telegraph: ‘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.’ The planned Dino would be smaller and lighter than the new 488 GTB and repeat its forebear’s V6 engine layout, with a choice of 450bhp or 600bhp according to CAR magazine's sources. It is unclear at this stage if the new junior Ferrari would revive the Dino name, which refers to the son of company founder Enzo. The badge 486 has been mooted.

Ferrari Dino: the first spy photos

CAR magazine's revelations follow our spyshots of an engineering mule on test near a supplier base in Germany. Tellingly, it passed by a few minutes before a regular 488 GTB - and the two sounded very different. You’d have to be an acoustically trained Ferrari engineer to tell definitively, but our man with the long lens was confident this prototype wasn’t a V8.

Ferrari Dino (inset, top) and regular Ferrari 488 GTB (below)

Note also the shortened 488 architecture (Dino prototype inset top, 488 GTB main image). The front structure appears identical to the production car’s, but the rear deck is noticeably shorter (compare the length from the front door to the rear axle), consistent with a smaller powertrain being accommodated; we understand the Dino will be some 120mm shorter than its V8 big brother, despite sharing the same architecture. Don't forget the car scooped here is an engineering mule - the finished car will look more like the yellow car in our artist's impression.

Why Ferrari’s downsizing

Maranello faces the same CO2 pressures as the rest of the world: reducing cubic capacity and relying on turbochargers is the easiest solution to make its cars cleaner and less thirsty, while maintaining the shrieking power outputs for which cars bearing the prancing horse are famed. CAR magazine understands the V6 under evaluation in Modena is around 2.9 litres in capacity, handily dodging just under the 3000cc threshold which triggers higher tax rates in markets such as China. It’s similar thinking to Audi dropping the entry-level V8 for its R8 supercar; we revealed in summer 2015 that Ingolstadt is planning a sub-3.0 V6 for its new sports car.

Ferrari V6s: what we know

The new V6 would power a generation of future Ferraris. Think entry-level versions of the next California, due in 2017, and sports cars too. It’s unlikely that Maranello would dilute its biggest-selling sports car - the 488 GTB and Spider - with a V6, but this engine is a dead cert for the Dino.

It's related to the Alfa Romeo V6 in the new Giulia, but would be heavily revised for use in the Ferrari. This will be the brand’s fourth six-pot effort, following in the wake of Lampredi’s straight six, Jano’s first-generation V6 and Rocchi’s 2.0- and 2.4-litre V6 units in the earlier Dino.

3.0 litres is a tax threshold for China: important for Ferrari

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet