Ferrari didn’t want its first V-6 road car in five decades to carry a name that was rooted in compromiseby Robert Moore, on LISTEN 04:57
Despite the Dino being called a Ferrari by, well, just about everyone, and being produced by Ferrari, it didn’t actually wear a Ferrari badge. In fact, the Dino name itself was created in Ferrari’s attempt create a low-cost sports car, ultimately opening the door to people a little less fortunate than those that could actually afford a real Ferrari. Ferrari produced several versions of the Dino like the V-6 206 GT, 246 GT, the 246 GTS, and there was even an eight-cylinder model, the 308 GT4. Be that as it may, the Dino is remembered as a V-6 Ferrari first and foremost, while the original plan for the Dino name to represent any car that didn’t have a V-12. The name itself was somewhat successful but was discontinued after 1976. Ferrari hasn’t used the Dino name since, although, it’s been highly speculated for years that the name would make a comeback. With the reveal of the Ferrari 296 GTB, we now know why it hasn’t and probably never will.
Fun Fact: Ferrari Dinos were named based on their engines. The Dino 246, for example, had a 2.4-liter, six-cylinder. The 308 had a 3.0-liter eight-cylinder. This naming scheme isn’t largely used today, as the company has switched to more conventional names like Roma, and Purosnague (is that conventional?) however, the new 296 GTB got it’s name from that old-school style of model designation – it’s powered by a 2.9-liter V-6, hence the 296 nomenclature.
The Ferrari Dino Has Been Coming Back For Years…. Or So They Say
We’ve covered news about a new Ferrari Dino all the way back to 2006, when we assumed Ferrari’s new Porsche 911 and Aston Martin Vantage competitor would bare the name. So, even if you don’t look elsewhere, it’s been nearly two decades that the Dino is allegedly returning. It didn’t help that there were “Dino images” popping up all over the unevolved internet back in ’06, spy shots of a small Ferrari, or rumors about a Geneva Motor Show launch in 2008 The list of supposed reveals and the news never stopped:
- Future “Baby” Ferrari will make its world debut in Paris (Jan 08)
- Ferrari Dino to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show(March 08)
- Ferrari to Launch New Entry-Level Vehicle in October (March 08)
- Breaking: New Ferrari Dino to be Launched in Paris (April 12)
- Ferrari Dino Will Return As A V6-Powered Sports Car (June 15)
- Top Ferrari Exec Strong Hints The Arrival of A Fifth Model (April ’16)
- Spyshots Suggests the Long-Rumored Ferrari Dino Is Imminent (March ’17)
And, this doesn’t account for the last four years, in which we quite literally lost interest and finally believed that Ferrari was being honest about not bringing the name back. The truth is that Ferrari really has been working on an entry-level, V-6 powered sports car, despite the fact that Ferrari claimed in 2019, after discontinuing the “affordable” California, that an entry-level model (like the alleged Dino) just wasn’t needed. As it turns out, that was complete crap, which is official now that the 296 GTB has been revealed, but why didn’t Ferrari go with the somewhat iconic Dino name considering the fact that so many people were into the idea?
The Ferrari Dino Wasn’t A Real Ferrari
When I say that the Ferrari Dino wasn’t a real Ferrari, I mean that it didn’t live up to Ferrari’s standards, even back in the 1960s and 1970s. That’s why it never wore a Ferrari badge. And you don’t have to take my word for it. British publication Autocar was able to catch up with Ferrari’s commercial boss, Enrico Galliera, who agreed that there are some similarities, like the V-6 engine, but it’s a true Ferrari and not one built in compromise.
“It’s true, there are some similarities – mainly the engine. But the Dino didn’t carry the Ferrari badge, because it was developed to attract new clients, to enter a new segment, and Ferrari accepted some compromises in terms of dimensions, space, performance, and price.
So, while the 296 Ferrari GTB is the brand’s first V-6 road car since the Dino 246, it’s most certainly not a Dino. And, if you take what Galliera said to heart, there probably never will be another Dino. That name is rooted in compromise, and that’s something Ferrari just isn’t willing to do these days. After all, it’s bad enough that the company is working on an SUV, right? In the end, we can at least put all the Dino name drama to rest and move on once and for all.