The Dino is extinct.
Autocar reports Ferrari’s entry-level, V6-powered coupe project has been shelved.
"I would never use the word dead in the future strategy. [But] it’s certainly not something that we're planning shortly," Ferrari's chief commercial officer, Enrico Galliera, told Autocar.
The Dino had been rumoured to be reaching production for some time. Shortly after he took over as chairman of Ferrari in 2014, the late Sergio Marchionne told reporters the introduction of the Dino was "not a question of if but when".
In 2016, the famously outspoken executive said the project had made "zero progress". Then, the following year, he confirmed the Dino wasn’t in development and was merely an idea that being kicked around, though he also said the brand was working on the V6 engine to power it.
Marchionne said there were divisions within Ferrari’s leadership team about whether an entry-level model was even necessary and whether it would harm Ferrari’s exclusivity.
His predecessor at Ferrari, Luca di Montezemolo, had reportedly been opposed to the idea of lowering the price of entry to the Ferrari brand, also rejecting any calls for sedan or SUV models.
Though Marchionne was more enthusiastic about expanding Ferrari’s product range, even under his leadership the Dino project couldn’t get traction. Following his death, it would appear there’s no cheerleader for an entry-level Ferrari.
Instead of going downmarket, Ferrari has released a new model to sit atop the prancing horse range, the plug-in hybrid SF90 Stradale. It’s also working on its first crossover, codenamed Purosangue. These are just two of the 15 models Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri has promised to launch by 2022.
For all the concerns from Ferrari leadership about brand dilution, it’s worth noting the original Dino never wore Ferrari badges.
Named after founder Enzo Ferrari’s son, who died in 1956, Dino was its own marque. The name was used on Ferrari’s first mid-engine road car, though Ferrari had previously used the layout in race cars bearing the Dino name.
Enzo Ferrari, concerned about the safety of a mid-engine layout when coupled with his brand’s powerful V12 engines, insisted the Dino use less powerful engines. Consequently, he insisted the cars not use the Ferrari name, given their smaller engines and lower prices.
The first Dino, the 206 GT, went into production in 1968. The Porsche 911 rival was styled by Pininfarina and, as the name indicates, used a 2.0-litre V6. This engine was produced to meet homologation requirements as Ferrari was using it in Formula Two racing. The aluminium engine was manufactured by Fiat, who also used it in the front-engine Fiat Dino.
Ferrari eventually lent its name to the wedge-shaped, mid-engine 308 GT4. Initially badged as a Dino, the 308 GT4 was rechristened as a Ferrari in 1976, making it the first production Ferrari with a V8 engine. The Dino name has remained dormant since then.