V6-powered Ferrari Dino spotted
The first Ferrari Dino test mule has been spotted undergoing technology testing. The car, while sporting a modified Ferrari Italia 458 body, appears to be equipped with the firm’s new V6 turbocharged engine which is due to power the Dino when it finally arrives in 2018.
Apart from the engine, the Dino name is also a big step for Ferrari, as it conjures up images of the legendary Dino 246.
We are told that the Dino will be a real Ferrari and feature a mid-mounted engine and rear-wheel drive, but it will not disrupt the Ferrari marketing effort by creating an ‘entry-level’ Prancing Horse. Instead, it will be slotted in alongside the California T, but offering a more intense and driver orientated level of performance.
The engine is actually far more than just a power plant for the Dino, and arguably is more exciting and important than the Dino name. While it is a smaller turbocharged unit compared to the 3,9-litre V8 in the California and the 488 GTB, it is also basically the same unit that Alfa Romeo will be using in its BMW M3 competitor, the Giulia Quadrifoglio Verde.
In the Alfa Romeo, the 3,0-litre twin-turbocharged unit is it is expected to produce 375 kW which will give it a distinct advantage over the other fast sedans in that class. But it also gives us an indication of what the low watermark will be for Ferrari.
More importantly, it allows Ferrari to generate income from its technology by increasing the amount of engines it builds, without diluting the Ferrari brand. Ferrari famously limits the amount of cars it produce to fabricate an environment of high demand and high price (and therefore exclusivity).
But that also means it can only move so many cars per year, and cannot dramatically improve its sales. The engine deal with Alfa Romeo changes that.
The Dino testing unit was spotted near Bosch’s headquarters in Germany so it is expected that the two firms are working closely on the technology for the Dino, which could feature electric turbochargers based on patents filed by Ferrari.
Electric turbochargers are spun up by an electric motor instead of the engine’s gases, eliminating turbo lag.
It is probably too soon for the first generation of engines to receive that technology, but it is very likely to become a reality in the very near future, and will probably be employed by the Italian firm’s future V8 engines as well.