‘It is a thrill to drive a car like the Dino, one whose capabilities are far beyond what even an expert driver can use in most real-world motoring, and that is the Dino’s reason for being. The real joy of a good mid-engined car is in its handling and braking and the Dino shone as we expected it to. The steering is quick without being super quick, and it transmits by what seems a carefully planned amount of feedback exactly what is going on at the tyres. Thanks to the layout’s low polar moment of inertia the car responds instantly to it. The Dino’s cornering limits are very high… ‘ – Road & Track.
It was the need for a production-based engine for the new Formula 2 that had prompted the introduction of a ‘junior’ Ferrari, the Dino 206GT, at the Turin Motor Show in 1967. The latest in a line of Dino V6 ‘quad-cam’ engines stretching back to the late 1950s, the new unit proved as successful on the racetrack as in the showroom, Derek Bell and Ernesto Brambilla both winning races in the European Championship, while Andrea de Adamich triumphed in the 1968 Argentine Temporada series.
Building on experienced gained with its successful limited edition Dino 206S sports-racer of 1966, Ferrari retained the racer’s mid-engined layout for the road car but installed the power unit transversely rather than longitudinally. A compact, aluminium-bodied coupé of striking appearance, the Pininfarina-styled Dino – named after Enzo Ferrari’s late son Alfredino Ferrari and intended as the first of a separate but related marque – was powered by a 2.0-litre, four-cam V6 driving via an in-unit five-speed transaxle. The motor’s 180 brake horsepower was good enough to propel the lightweight, aerodynamically-efficient Dino to 142mph, and while there were few complaints about the car’s performance, the high cost enforced by its aluminium construction hindered sales.