Ferrari’s V6-powered V96 GTB had many references to the Dino original Dino. Its numerical number is an allusion to the original 246 GT Dinos and 206 GT Dinos.
These were Ferrari’s first mid-engine road car. They weren’t officially sold as Ferraris. That, according to a brochure released by the company at the time, meant that the car was “almost” a Ferrari.
Its influence over the company, though, belies that assertion, pointing instead to the car’s important role in Ferrari history. Enzo chose not to sell the car as a Ferrari so as not to water down the company’s V12-powered reputation. He also, according to a video from Carfection, didn’t believe the average driver could handle the driving dynamics of a mid-engined car.
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Named after Enzo’s son, Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari, who helped design a 1.5-liter DOHC V6 racing engine shortly before his death at the early age of 24, all V6 engines came to bear his name, leading to the sub-brand’s designation. The engine, although often considered less than, is actually a delight, according to Alex Goy, a host.
“The 2.4 V6 in the back of this, think of it as a proper Ferrari or not, is beautifully sonorous,” he says. “The noise is buzzy, is revvy, it’s exciting. It just wants to rev and it wants to scream and it wants to make noise, and it wants to pull.”
The car was not dressed in a Prancing Horse but it performed well and has gained a good reputation.
“It’s light, it’s airy, it’s roomy, and it’s a literal dream to drive. What this represents the start of is some of the greatest Ferraris ever made,” argues Goy. “Without this mid-engine Ferrari, what would Ferrari have missed out on? 288 GTO. F40. F50. Enzo. LaFerrari. The 458. This kickstarted something huge.”
It’s nice to know that, whether or not old man Ferrari intended it, his son’s influence has been shaping the company positively for years.
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