2018 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 resurrectÂ 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 NewsÂ 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 amidstÂ divergent plans atÂ Ferrari’s executive level, departed Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo persistently rejected the defunctÂ 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 likelyÂ enough of a sea change for Ferrari’s loyal clientele for the time being.
Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor ofÂ GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.