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Can A Resurrected Dino Save Ferrari?

Ferrari cannot survive without a new entry level car. In a world before competitors like McLaren, their model lineup was fine. But in today’s competitive marketplace sales mean survival, and Ferrari is missing a vital product. They Lack a strong entry-level supercar, and the only way for Ferrari to generate the revenue needed to compete is to offer a car more people car afford. Now is the time for Ferrari to resurrect the Dino brand and offer a more affordable mid-engined supercar.

Alfredo Ferrari, known as Dino, laid on his death bed discussing race cars with his father Enzo. They spent many nights like this, discussing designs, proposing alternatives, and more importantly spending time together. Although Enzo was one of the most famous men in all of Italy, his influence and business success could not save his son Dino. Muscular dystrophy slowly took the life of Enzo’s beloved son. After Dino’s passing, Enzo built mid-engined race cars using V6s and V8s proposed by Dino. To honor his son, Enzo called them Dinos.

The Dino was Ferrari’s answer to the Porsche 911. However, Ferrari was not keen on a mid-engined car with a V6 bearing the Ferrari name. In an effort to preserve his brand’s prestige, Enzo Ferrari created a sub-brand of more affordable sports cars sold as Dinos. These mid-engined sports cars laid they ground work for the mid-engine Ferraris we know and love today. They also allowed Ferrari to reach customers who couldn’t afford his expensive V12 cars bringing in much-needed revenue.

As much as Enzo disdained anything without a V12, it’s safe to say the Dino helped build the brands reach. The original Dino was a gem. Boasting a V6 that redlines at 8,000rpm, a Ferrari built chassis and aluminum bodywork from Scaglietti. It has a clear link to all mid-engined Ferrari supercars today and gave the brand new life. The Dino 246 is one of the most beautiful sports car ever made and today these highly collectable cars give a clear answer to the future of Ferrari.

Today Ferrari must call upon Dino once again. They are missing out on some very crucial revenue to a brand new competitor known as McLaren. Bruce McLaren always gave Ferrari trouble, whether it was behind the wheel of a Ford GT40 at Le Mans or the newly minted supercar company that bears his name. Today McLaren poses an even bigger threat to Ferrari. McLaren offers supercars capable of competing with Ferrari’s flagship supercars and a series of less expensive supercars to sell at a higher volume.

McLaren calls these affordable supercars the sports series but, they should be called the Ferrari killers. Composed of the 570S, 570GT, and 540C, this sports series allows McLaren to reach more customers without diluting the brand. Starting at $160,000, the sports series makes the McLaren brand accessible to people who are only kind of wealthy. This allows the brand to grow its revenue potential without diluting the brand with a cheap car. It also helps amortize the cost of developing new performance features and funds hypercar development.

Ferrari’s entry-level car, the California T, may be fast but it’s not affordable at $190,000 and it’s built for cruising rather than performance. The metal folding roof of the California may be good for cruising but it’s not the affordable Ferrari enthusiasts want. People want a mid-engined exotic they can afford, and right now Ferrari is giving the entire market to McLaren. In order to capture this much-needed revenue a new mid-engined entry level Ferrari is needed and its name is Dino.

The new Dino can be built out of many parts already in existence. First, the engine can be based on the V6 in the Giulia QV. I don’t care what anyone says, that engine is a 488 V8 missing two cylinders, it also makes the Giulia the fastest sedan around Nurburgring. They could also use a detuned 488GTB V8 for more performance or the V8 from the California. Next, this engine should be mated to Ferrari’s dual clutch transmission which is proven strong and helps amortize its development cost. Ferrari could also include the manual transmission that was supposed to be used in the Giulia to differentiate the Dino from McLaren’s auto only lineup.

Finally, the body. This is the most difficult part for Ferrari who doesn’t use the same carbon tub across models like McLaren. I assume they would have to create a new chassis for the Dino adding to development costs. A strong option would be to share the same basic chassis with the superb 488GTB which wouldn’t lose sales from its slower stable mate. They could also adopt McLaren’s strategy and use a carbon tub basis for all of their mid-engined cars to defuse costs across multiple models.

A new Dino using these existing drivetrain components would take the fight to McLaren and their popular Sports Series. Ferrari needs all the revenue and customers they can get in order to fund hypercar development and the growth of their brand. A new Dino would grow Ferrari’s reach and resurrect a truly underappreciated sports car.

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About Chris Okula - Contributor

Chris was raised on Top Gear and automotive magazines, which still

dominate most of his free time today (he is not a fan of the new

TopGear). After he graduated from Desales University, Chris started his career in the pharmaceutical industry, but missed writing which lead him to the creation of his own automotive blog. This blog lead him to work with Road & Track and now as a contributor here at Shifting Lanes. In his free time, Chris is constantly on the popular automotive auction site, Bring a Trailer, as well as Craigslist looking for ways to destroy his savings account and skip student loan payments.

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