Rumors of Ferrari’s revival of its Dino nameplate date back almost a decade, with most new rumors typically getting quashed within weeks of first springing up. The latest to stir the pot is none other than Ferrari chairman and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU] CEO Sergio Marchionne. Perhaps to deflect some heat from recent news that a number of vehicle programs at FCA may be delayed, Marchionne has now come out with comments that a revival of the Dino name is “not a question of if but when” and that the new car must be “done right.”
WATCH: 2015 Ferrari California T Joy Ride
He made the comments during a recent interview with Autocar where he explained that any new Dino won’t be a new point of entry to the brand, adding that maintaining exclusivity is still important for Ferrari post the Luca di Montezemolo era.
“We may produce a 500-horsepower Ferrari but it will not be a cheap Ferrari,” Marchionne said. “The brand is unique and needs to be protected.”
This 500-hp output is less than the 552 horses of Ferrari’s current entry-level model, the California T. This suggests that the car may adopt a V-6 engine, just like the original Dino. Ferrari execs have been hinting that a V-6 model was possible in this era of downsizing and curbing emissions. Then there’s the issue of Formula One having adopted V-6 engines; Ferrari has consistently linked its road car program with its F1 efforts.
Note, it was only a couple of months ago that news of a V-6-powered Ferrari sports car due in 2019 first surfaced. However, instead of a front-mounted engine as previously suggested, Marchionne’s comments that the car must be “done right” suggests that a mid-engine layout, like on the original Dino, is planned.
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Such a car, rather than sitting below the California T, may end up being positioned alongside it. The California T and its eventual successor could be aimed at buyers seeking a comfy grand tourer while the Dino could be aimed at buyers looking for a hardcore sports car to take on McLaren’s new Sports Series, which is also mid-engined, as well as the likes of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS and the eventual Black Series version of the Mercedes-AMG GT.