Ferrari Dino 308 GT4
|1978 to 1980|
(branded as Dino)
(branded as Ferrari)
|Designer||Marcello Gandini at Bertone|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2+2 Coupe|
|Engine||3.0 L V8|
The 308 GT4 was produced from 1973 to April 1980. Initially branded "Dino", the 308 GT4 was Ferrari's first V-8 production automobile.
The 308 was a 2+2 with a wheelbase of 100.4 inches (2,550 mm). The 308 was designed by Bertone; with its angular wedge shape, it looked quite different from the 206/246 from which it was derived.
The 308 GT4 V-8 had a 90-degree, dual-overhead-camshaft, 2927 cc motor with 4 Weber carburetors which produced 250 hp (186 kW). The V-8 block and heads were made of an aluminum alloy. The compression ratio was 8.8:1. The American version had a timing change and an air-pump; it produced a modest 230 hp (172 kW). The GT4 weighed 2535 pounds.
The 308 GT4 wore the Dino badge until May 1976, when it finally got the Ferrari "Prancing Horse" badge on the hood, wheels, and the steering wheel.
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.