Monday 7 November 2011
Dino was a brand for mid-engined, rear-drive sports cars produced by Ferrari from 1968 to 1976. The Dino brand was meant to be used for cars with engines that had fewer than 12 cylinders, reserving the Ferrari name for the V-12 and flat 12 models. The Dino name was retired after that point, in favour of conventional Ferrari branding. The Dino brand was an attempt by Ferrari to produce a relatively low cost sports car.
The Dino models used Ferrari racing naming designation of displacement and cylinder count with two digits for the size of the engine in deciliters and the third digit to represent the number of cylinders, i.e., 246 being a 2.4 litre 6 cylinder and 308 being a 3.0 litre 8 cylinder. Ferrari street models of the time used a three digit representation of the displacement in cubic centimeters of one of the 12 cylinders which would have been meaningless in a brand with differing numbers of cylinders.
The Dino 246 was the first Ferrari model produced in high numbers. It is lauded by many for its intrinsic driving qualities and groundbreaking design. In 2004, Sports Car International placed the car at number six on its list of Top Sports Cars of the 1970s. Motor Trend Classic placed the 206/246 at number seven in their list of the 10 "Greatest Ferraris of all time".
Calls for more power were answered with the 2.4 L (2418 cc) Dino 246. The motor was a 65 degree, dual overhead camshaft, 9.0:1 compression ratio, iron block with alloy heads. The European motor produced 195 bhp (at 7,600 rpm), and was available as a fixed-top GT coupe or, after 1971, an open Spyder GTS. The American version had an exhaust air-pump, and timing changes which created 175 hp (130 kW). The GT had 3 Weber 40 DCNF/6 or 40 DCNF/7 carburetors. For the 246 a new version of the Dinoplex ignition was deployed, the more compact Magneti Marelli AEC103A system.
The 246 Dino GT weighed 2,380 lb (1,080 kg). The 246 Dino GTS weighed 2,426 lb (1,100 kg). The body was now made of steel to save cost. The 246 Dino had a 2.1-inch (53 mm) longer wheelbase than the 206, at 92.1 inches. The height of the 246 was the same as the 206 at 43.9 inches.
Dino 246 production numbered 2,295 GTs and 1,274 Spyders, the latter being built from 1972 to 1974 only, for a total production run of 3,569. Three series of the Dino were built, with differences in wheels, windshield wiper coverage, and engine ventilation. The Series I cars, 357 of which were built until the summer of 1970, used the same center-bolt wheels as did the 206. Series II cars (built until July 1971 in 507 examples) received five-bolt Cromodora alloys and "clap-hands" wipers. The Series III cars had minor differences to gearing and fuel supply, and were built at a much higher rate as sales in the United States commenced with this version. 1,431 Series III coupés and 1,274 GTS cars were built.
The 246 had a claimed top speed of 146 mph (235 km/h), although in July 1971 a road test by Britain's Motor magazine reported a top speed of 148 mph (238 km/h), which compared favourably with the 136 mph (219 km/h) achieved by a recently tested (though by now replaced) Porsche 911S. With a 0 – 50 mph (80/km/h) acceleration time of 5.5 seconds the Dino narrowly out performed the Porsche again, although the Porsche was narrowly the winner on fuel economy. The manufacturer's recommended UK retail price of £5,485 was higher than the £5,211 asked for the Porsche, although both cars were retailing for more than the equally brazen if in other respects very different Citroën SM, at £4,700.
The Dino's 2.4 L V6 found its way into a number of other Italian performance cars after its application in the 246, most notably the Lancia Stratos rally car.
- engine: V6
- capacity: 2418 cc
- horsepower: 195 HP
- gearbox: 5+1
- top speed: 235 km/h