Ferrari Plans McLaren 570S Competitor
Rumors of a more affordable, V-6-powered Ferrari have been flying around since before the 488 GTB arrived to replace the 458 Italia, and it now seems this idea is not far from becoming reality. MotorTrend’s Jonny Lieberman, who also revealed that the Porsche 911 facelift would debut the 992 chassis code in 2014, announced on his Twitter account that an entry-level Ferrari is set to arrive in 2019.
"HOT SCOOP: Ferrari has a TT V6 car coming, aimed at Porsche Turbo S, AMG GT, and McLaren 570S. $180K, 2019," Lieberman wrote on Twitter, later adding that the news comes "from a source deep in FCA," Ferrari’s parent company. Of course, this scoop doesn’t make the baby Ferrari official, but the #NYIAS hashtag coming with the tweet suggests Lieberman might have heard it at the 2015 New York Auto Show, where the McLaren 570S just broke cover as a competitor for the 911 Turbo.
Rumored intensely since early 2014, this entry-level Ferrari would be built around a new twin-turbo, 2.9-liter V-6 engine the Italians are reportedly developing. The scenario is quite plausible, as Maranello is no stranger to V-6 powerplants, having already engineered a 3.0-liter unit for Maserati. Moreover, it fits perfectly in Ferrari’s new turbocharging strategy, which already includes the California T and the 488 GTB. The $180,000 sticker Lieberman mentioned in his tweet would place it in the same price bracket as the 911 Turbo and McLaren 570S.
Continue reading to learn more about Ferrari’s new entry level model.
Why it matters
With Luca di Montezemolo gone from Ferrari, Sergio Marchionne has already expressed his intention of turning the Prancing Horse into a more mainstream brand. An entry-level sports car would be a solid step in that direction, as a twin-turbo V-6 would make a Ferrari both more affordable and fuel efficient.
What might have seemed impossible a few years ago sounds very plausible today. FCA wants Ferrari to grow, and the best way to do it is to create either an entry-level sports car or an SUV. Apparently the Italians decided to return to building V-6 engines rather than enter a new niche that could hurt their heritage. Thank goodness for that, I say.
Ferrari V-6 Engines From The Past
Ferrari’s history with V-6 engines began in 1956, when the Italians developed their first Dino units for Formula Two racing. However, it took Maranello about a decade to build one for road car use. It happened in 1968 with the launch of the Dino marque, which was created to market lower priced Ferraris powered by engines with fewer than 12 cylinders. A 2.0-liter V-6 was offered in the Dino 206 GT in 1968, while a 2.4-liter unit was developed for the 246 GT model, launched in 1969. The same engine motivated the Fiat Dino and the iconic Lancia Stratos rally car. The last time Ferrari used a V-6 engine in a road-going car it was 1974, before the V-8-powered 308 GT4 replaced the 246 series. Since then, all V-6 units have motivated Formula One cars exclusively. It happened from 1980 through 1988, before the FIA reintroduced V-6 power units to the sport for the 2014 season.
Read more about the Ferrari Dino here.