It’s a great time to be a fan of defunct European automakers. Germany’s Borgward surprised us earlier this year when it announced plans to return to building cars after a 50-year hiatus, Jensen and TVR will both launch new sports cars before the end of the decade, and now it looks like Ferrari is set to resurrect the heritage-laced Dino nameplate.
Speaking to journalists at the launch of the 488 GTB, Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne revealed that Dino’s long-rumored return is “not a question of if, but when.” Like the original street-legal Dino, the 206 GT (pictured) that was introduced in 1968, the 21st century model will be noticeably smaller in all directions and a lot lighter than its Ferrari-badged siblings. Power will reportedly come from a down-sized twin-turbocharged V6 engine mounted directly behind the passenger compartment.
Where the Dino will slot in the Ferrari lineup is an open question. Some sources say it will be positioned as a more hardcore, driver-focused alternative to the California T, while others claim it will be the first member of a new sub-brand created in order to avoid diluting the Prancing Horse’s brand image. Regardless of how it’s sold, Marchionne stressed that the Dino’s entry-level positioning will not result in a budget Ferrari.
“We may produce a 500-horsepower Ferrari but it will not be a cheap Ferrari. [It’s] important to get it right, and it would be a wrong association to make Dino just a cheaper Ferrari. ” he explained.
The Dino’s base price is expected to lie in the vicinity of $190,000, a figure that will put it up against rivals such as high-end versions of the Porsche 911 including the Turbo S and the GT3 RS, and the recently-introduced McLaren 570S. A timeframe for when to expect the car was not given, but we expect it’s at least three or four years away from making its debut.