July 02, 2015 @ 04:41 PM

Legends and Legacies: Ferrari Dino 206/ 246

It’s commonly known as the Ferrari Dino but did you know that the Dino never wore the prancing horse badge?

(Image source: topcarrating.com)

It’s commonly known as the Ferrari Dino but did you know that the Dino never wore the prancing horse badge?

Yes, the Dino is essentially a Ferrari as the car was created by Enzo Ferrari himself but the Dino has never worn the Ferrari badge as the founder had marketed it under a separate marque. Ferrari hadn’t wanted the brand associated with a lower priced more “affordable” sports car hence the reason the Dino was marketed as a brand while the model is known as the 206 before getting replaced by the 246. The Dino name came in honour of Enzo’s beloved son and heir Alfredo Ferrari who had died but not before suggesting to his father to create V6 and V8 engine sports cars.

So, instead of the famed Ferrari V12 engine equipped in every Ferrari vehicle that rolled out of Marenello, the Dino has a V6 under its mid-chassis bonnet. The car’s design was one of Sergio Pininfarina’s finest and it had taken a lot of persuading before Enzo Ferrari had relented on a mid-engine set up. Many enthusiasts believe that the fact that the Dino was mid-engine was the reason that made the car a success as a mid-engine layout was popular in sports car racing but not in a production road car. 

(Image source: motortrend.com)

Enzo Ferrari’s refusal to build a mid-engine car had stemmed from his customers’ safety. A mid-engine car would give the car more balance and allows the car to go faster as well. But his agreement to allow Pininfarina to start work on designing a mid-engine Dino was thanks to the V6 engine that produces less power than the usual V12 engines in his usual Ferrari cars, rationalising that it has less-power and would keep his customers out of trouble.

The Ferrari Dino was produced as an entry level Ferrari at its time and is the first Ferrari to be mass produced. But there was also another front engine version of the car created by another manufacturer. This was for homologation purposes that require 500 production vehicles using the same engine to be tested on the roads, Enzo Ferrari had enlisted the help of Fiat to co-produce a rear-drive car with a V6 engine. Hence the Fiat Dino with a 2.0-litre, 1987cc V6 engine was born. 

(Image source: targapedia.com)

With the homologation process done and dusted, Ferrari was allowed to race the Dino 206S in the new 1.6-litre Formula 2 category in 1967 with the first ever Dino V6 engine created by the Ferrari brand.

Even though the Dino came in two shapes and two engine layout it was that mid-engine production sports car under the Dino badge that caught the attention. The prototype 206 had received rave attention at the Turin Motorshow, which prompted Enzo Ferrari to order the car into enter production which saw the introduction of the 2.0-litre Dino 206 in 1968 with a 180bhp transversely mounted V6 engine connected to a five-speed gearbox and transaxle.

(Image source: 3dtuning.com)

The 206 handles as brilliant as it looks thanks to the design that Pininfarina had gifted the car and it has the capability to hit a top speed of 225kph but it was quickly found wanting of more power. Hence the 206 was quickly replaced with the 246 that produces 195bhp from a 2418cc iron-blocked version of the V6 housed inside a steel body.

Just over 4000 of the Dino 206 and 246 were produced between the years 1968 and 1973 before the car was replaced by the well-balanced Dino 308GT4.

Jerrica Leong

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