We know Ferrari is thinking about bringing back the Dino. This might be it. Or not.
"It's a when not an if. We know that it [Dino] is an under-used resource, but that's why we need to get it right." – Sergio Marchionne
Spy shooters snapped this prototype during winter testing in Sweden, sparking speculation the long-hoped for Dino could return. Witnesses said the mule didn't sound like it had a V8, suggesting the 2.9-liter V6 turbo developed by Ferrari for the Alfa Romeo Giulia was instead providing power.
Fiat Chrysler chief Sergio Marchionne said back in 2015: "It's a when not an if. We know that it [Dino] is an under-used resource, but that's why we need to get it right." He also suggested a 500-hp V6 would be the right fit for a new Dino. That Alfa engine makes 505 ponies in the Giulia's Quadrifoglio trim
But those comments are nearly two years old, when Ferrari was owned by Fiat Chrysler. Ferrari was spun off in the fall of 2015, though Marchionne remains head of the supercar maker in addition to leading FCA.
But what are we actually looking at here? There's bits of both the 488 GTB and its predecessor, the 458 Italia, Frankensteined together onto the prototype. There are huge tailgun exhausts in back. The car is testing on a snowy road. Could in fact Ferrari be shaking down an all-wheel-drive 488 variant? A high performance version?
On the other hand, the Dino was a mid-engine car, and the similar layout of the 458/488 line makes for a fitting testbed. Perhaps Ferrari is using that body style to conceal the identity of an all-new project like the Dino. Or perhaps...