Photographer: Rainer W. Schlegelmilch/Getty Images
Cars

Fiat Chrysler Promises to Remake Ferrari Dino for the Less Affluent

The original Dino helped the company jump from the track to the road

A Ferrari for the rich playboy, rather than the filthy rich playboy. That was the raison d’etre of the Dino badge when Ferrari rolled it out in 1967.

A “Dino,” named after the son of founder Enzo Ferrari, had all the breeding and curves of the company’s race cars, only with a smaller engine and price tag. The first iterations had six cylinders—half as many as Ferrari was known for.

With just six cylinders the 1973 Ferrari Dino 246 GT had a top speed of 148 mph.

With just six cylinders, the 1973 Ferrari Dino 246 GT had a top speed of 148 mph.

Photographer: National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

It was a prancing pony among thundering thoroughbreds, and more than any other vehicle it helped the company steer from the racetrack onto the road. Critically, it was the first road-going Ferrari to have its engine between the front and back wheels, a bit of blocking and tackling that made for better, more balanced handling while letting designers sculpt a daintier, more-aerodynamic nose.

Now Fiat Chrysler has promised us another Dino, which would be the first in almost 40 years. Sergio Marchionne told Autocar Magazine, it’s “not a question of if, but when.”

The Fiat chief is trying to goose the Ferrari brand a bit in advance of an initial public offering later this year. But he also said a Dino 2.0 wouldn’t be “cheap." Nor would it be solely a way to stretch the brand lower down the market. The expected sweet spot is somewhere around $240,000 in exchange for 500-horsepower. In that range, it will square off against Porsche’s 911, as it did decades ago.

A Dino in 1971 cost about $13,500, compared with the $4,000 sticker on a Porsche 911.
A Dino in 1971 cost about $13,500, compared with the $4,000 sticker on a Porsche 911.
Photographer: John Lamm/The Enthusiast Network/Getty Images

Still, prospective buyers shouldn’t expect to skip the standard Ferrari waiting list. These will be hot; vintage Dinos, these days, are among the more coveted Ferraris in the family. The seminal model from 1967 is worth almost $800,000, nearly four times what it fetched five years ago, according to Hagerty Insurance.

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