Ferrari Dino 246 GT and GTS
|1969 to 1974|
|Designer||Leonardo Fioravanti Pininfarina|
|Body and chassis|
|Engine||2,418 cc (147.6 cu in) DOHC V6|
|Transmission||5-speed manual all-synchromesh|
|Wheelbase||92.5 in (2,350 mm)|
|Length||166.25 in (4,223 mm)|
|Width||67 in (1,702 mm)|
|Height||45 in (1,143 mm)|
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 outperformed 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. For comparison, both cars were retailing for more than the equally brazen though 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.
There were some minor differences in trim for various markets, the most obvious being different marker lights on US market Dinos. Group 4-style flared wheelarches were optional, as were seats from the 365 GTB/4 Daytona, the pair often ordered in conjunction with wide, sand-cast Campagnolo alloys.
The "Dino" marque was created to market a lower priced, "affordable" sports car capable of taking on the Porsche 911. Ferrari's expensive V12's well exceeded the 911 in both performance and price. Enzo did not want to diminish his exclusive brand with a cheaper car, so the "Dino" was created.
The name "Dino" honours the founder's late son, Alfredo "Dino" Ferrari, credited with designing the V6 engine used by the marque. Along with famed engineer, Vittorio Jano, Dino influenced Enzo Ferrari's decision to produce a line of racing cars in the 1950s, with V6 and V8 engine designs. History shows that Alfredo Ferrari did not have a hand in the actual design of the V6 motor that made its way into the Dino.
Ferrari wished to race in the new 1.6 L Formula 2 category in 1967 with the Dino V6 engine. However, the company could not meet the homologation rules which called for 500 production vehicles using the engine to be produced. Enzo Ferrari therefore asked Fiat to co-produce a sports car using the V6, and the front-engined, rear-drive Fiat Dino was born. It used a 2.0 L (1987 cc) version of the Dino V6, allowing Ferrari to compete in the category.
At the time, the thought of using a mid-engine layout in a production car was quite daring, although the design was common in the world of sports car racing. A mid-engined layout placed more of the car's weight over the driven wheels, and allowed for a streamlined nose, but led to a cramped passenger compartment and more challenging handling. Lamborghini created a stir in 1966 with its mid-engined Miura, but Enzo Ferrari felt that a mid-engine Ferrari would be unsafe in the hands of his customers. Eventually he relented, and allowed designer Sergio Pininfarina to build a mid-engined concept for the 1965 Paris Motor Show, but demanded that it wear the Dino badge alone. The 1966 Turin car show featured a refined Dino 206S. The Turin 206S was a closer prototype to the actual production version. Response to the radically styled car was positive, so Ferrari allowed it to go into production, rationalizing that the low-power V6 engine would keep his customers out of trouble.