Ferrari: Almost Certainly Yes to the SUV, Probably No to a Reincarnated Dino

Ferrari Dino 206 GT - Image: Ferrari2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Ferrari’s V6-engined Dino, an entry-level Ferrari that never actually wore Ferrari’s prancing horse badge.

With challenging regulatory environments and emissions targets to meet, 2018 surely seems like a fine time to resurrect the Dino name and concept. Yet it appears far more likely Ferrari will look to burst through its 10,000-unit annual production barrier with an FUV, rather than a Dino that, Automotive News reports, would likely be priced 20-percent below the current entry-level Ferrari.

The California T stickers from $202,723.

“We need to explore ways to attract customers to traditional values of the brand such as style, performance and engine sound before downgrading the entry level price for the brand,” Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne told analysts.

Downgrade. Pfft. Downgrading is for Porsche and McLaren.

It’s been a dozen years since Marchionne seemed certain that a Dino revival was a sure bet. In 2005, only the timing was in question. But amidst divergent plans at Ferrari’s executive level, departed Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo persistently rejected the defunct Dino’s overtures.

Fast forward to 2017 and Marchionne seems to believe the Dino may well not necessary. The less costly Dino would be an attempt on Ferrari’s part to attract younger buyers, but Marchionne already describes Ferrari’s burgeoning Asian buyer base as, “phenomenally young.” Meanwhile, the FUV is going to be responsible for shaking Ferrari’s money maker.

Globally, Ferrari sold a record 8,014 new vehicles in 2016, representing 5-percent year-over-year growth and enough production for the company to earn $432 million in net profit

According to The Wall Street Journal, U.S. Ferrari sales are up 5 percent to 1,421 units through 2017’s first seven months, more than double Lamborghini’s total.

Whether a Dino is set to join the almost-certain FUV in extending Ferrari’s lineup is a decision Ferrari has put off until the early part of next year. Wading into SUV waters is likely enough of a sea change for Ferrari’s loyal clientele for the time being.

[Image: Ferrari]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.