Dino Spider is still one of the most beautiful in Fiat history (Photo: Press Release)
Ferrari has loaned its engines to other elite Fiat manufacturers, including Alfa Romeo, Lancia and Maserati. But Fiat was also privileged with a Maranello-brand propellant: the V6 Dino used by the sports car of the same name.
The V6 was the realization of Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari's dream. Called Alfredino by his father, Enzo, the specialist died before seeing the propellant made in series. It was up to his partner Vittorio Jano to finish the six-cylinder, the first of its kind made by Ferrari. Dino's idea was to use V6 in Formula 2.
Aware of its status, Ferrari did not want to be associated with a V6 engine, as its production was concentrated in the huge twelve cylinders. To avoid any sacrilege, the Italian manufacturer has created a new brand: Dino.
The first car, the Dino 206 GT (and its derivatives), is considered to be one of the best Ferrari sports cars of all time, which only makes it clear that the brand's prejudice was unfounded.
Strong and elastic, the V6 had to be homologated for Formula 2, however, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) required the production of a large number of street cars with the same engine. It required 500 cars. The way was to associate with the giant Fiat. And Ferrari did it with great pleasure.
Dino was not named Ferrari, but no one takes it seriously (Photo: Fábio Aro)
Signed in 1965, the deal was beneficial to both brands. It was also their strongest association until 1969, when Fiat acquired Ferrari. The dating gave in marriage. The result: the Dino 206 GT ended up winning two cousins: the Fiat Dino Coupe and Spider. This facilitated the task of achieving the minimum number of production required by the FIA.
Both 206 GT and Spider were designed by Pininfarina studio. And Dino Coupe by none other than Giorgetto Giugiaro, still part of Bertone.
The projects were very different. Ferrari opted for a rear center-engine berlinetta, while Fiat went for the classic front-engine and rear-wheel drive scheme.
The partnership eventually benefited Fiat: it was up to the manufacturer to launch the new V6 in 1966, when Dino Coupé and Spider went into production. The 206 GT was launched in 1967.
Dino Coupé was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro (Photo: Press Release)
The first edition of the V6 engine has 2 liters of displacement and delivers 160 hp at a sublime 7,200 rpm and 17,4 kgfm of torque at high 6,000 revs. A five-speed manual transmission helped keep the six cylinders always up. The coupe reached 205 km / h and the convertible 210 km / h.
The six-cylinder was extended in 1969, when Ferrari launched a new 2.4 and renamed the Dino 246. In the Fiats, horsepower rose to 180 hp and torque to 22 kgfm.
It was not the only evolution of the Fiat Dinos: the cars also gained independent rear suspension. If they were already praised for their dynamic behavior, they became even more beloved.
Fiat Dino was made by Ferrari
By the way, we can even say that the Dino was the first Fiat built by Ferrari: car production began in Turin (in Rivalta di Torino), but became in Maranello from 1969. The Coupe was the most popular (almost 75 % of the production of 7,800 cars).
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