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Exclusive: get ready for a smaller, V6-engined Ferrari

‘New Dino’ will slot below 488 in the Maranello line-up, Paul Horrell reveals

Ferrari engineers have been talking about a smaller V6 turbo mid-engined car. The new Dino if you like (the gorgeous original is in the second image, above).

The new V8 engine in the 488 GTB and Spider is so powerful that there’s space for a car underneath - roughly the price of a California T, or £150k and up.

CEO Amedeo Felisa is talking about the improved CO2 form going to turbos. But what about a V6 to reduce CO2, Top Gear asks him? “For sure, over time we can reduce emissions by downsizing the displacement. There is probably a V6 in our future.” So would it be a smaller car? “You wouldn’t do a bigger one with a V6,” he smiles.

A hacked-about shortened engineering test car has been spotted around Ferrari’s Maranello HQ and tearing up the roads nearby, making a V6-ish noise.

An engineer told Top Gear that the V6 car isn’t a definite yet because there are challenges. The aim is for 200bhp per litre. That means 580bhp-odd from a V6 of 2.9 litres or so. But that puts huge stress on the engine components and it’s not ready yet. The new engine is derived from the 3.9-litre V8 of the 488. It’s very unusual to have a V6 with a flat-plane crank, but we’re told Ferrari might go that route, which would make a most strange noise.

A more compact engine and careful packaging of the two people and their bags would mean, we’re told, that the car could be usefully smaller and crucially lighter. “We are thinking about 1000kg but of course we will not get there,” says an engineer.

With less weight and fewer cylinders, the fuel and CO2 savings really kick in. But actually it’s a myth that Ferrari is forced into fleet average fuel economy targets in Europe or the US. “We get exemptions because they realise we are a drop in the ocean,” says Felisa. But it is always good to show willing.

Ferrari keeps improving the fuel consumption and CO2 of its range, and Felisa says that they don’t need hybrids for at least five years. The V12 hybrid LaFerrari is an exercise too hard and expensive to repeat at bigger scale.

So a petrol-only, V6, mid-engined, compact, lightweight Ferrari. Excited, much?

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