Ferrari patent might relate to new entry-level Dino

Is Italian marque working on new V6 entry-level model in same vein as Dino? Recent patent for a cost-effective targa top suggests it might be

There has been plenty of speculation about a reincarnation of the Ferrari Dino over the years, all extinguished with the usual official denials from the Prancing Horse. However, a recent patent filing adds more weight to the notion of a new entry-level Ferrari in the range.

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The patent relates to a removable targa roof panel on a car with a coupé bodystyle. It also suggests that an insert near the windscreen would reduce the usual aerodynamic drawbacks of such a design.

Even more interestingly, the patent states that the targa would be easy and cheap to manufacture. Hold on one second! Since when has Ferrari cared about costs? Unless it is considering a new entry-level model to sit under the California.

Adding fuel to this fire is the new Ferrari-developed V6 engine that Alfa Romeo takes advantage of in its Quadrifoglio models. That is a lot of time and money spent creating a high-performance engine that currently resides in just two cars. It wouldn’t be a stretch to see this engine sitting in the middle of a Ferrari sports car.

The original Dinos were produced by Ferrari as a lower-cost sports machine aimed at young well-to-do’s. Named after Enzo Ferrari’s son, the car was initially available as a coupé, but in 1971 a GTS targa arrived. Between 1968 and 1976 Dinos lacked official Ferrari badging; the Scuderia shields were kept for the brand’s most premium 12-cylinder models and not these lesser V6, and later V8, cars. However, in ’76 the Dino was officially brought into the Ferrari stable, and the model continued on until 1980.

The Dino name wasn’t just restricted to two-seat sports cars, either, with the 308 GT4 2+2 offering space for four occupants. This model also had the honour of hosting the first road-going Ferrari-built V8 engine, something that is commonplace today.

There’s building evidence to suggest that the Dino name might return to the road in the near future, and we eagerly await more news. At the very least we will likely see the new targa roof treatment applied to other models – much like the F355 some 20 years ago.

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