At a press conference here at the 2015 Frankfurt show, Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa all but confirmed that the brand is in the process of developing a six cylinder engine. “Will a six-cylinder come to a Ferrari someday, probably yes,” Felisa said. Regular AUTOMOBILE readers have already heard this is happening; In a recent story on Ferrari’s future plans, our own Georg Kacher outlined that the Prancing Horse brand is looking into a couple of options.
“We might also see a less expensive future Ferrari California with a twin-turbo 2.9-liter V-6 instead of the turbocharged 3.9-liter V-8,” Kacher reports. “Though the V-6 could have the same 90-degree layout as the Ferrari V-8, R&D is also considering a F1-style 120-degree V-6, which would help forestall unpleasant vibration and push down the center of gravity. Ferrari says that 600 hp is feasible, and that’s before adding any electric power-assist systems.
“The best part about this V-6, though, is that it will be made-to-measure for the Ferrari Dino Concept, which [former Ferrari CEO] Montezemolo wouldn’t approve but [FCA CEO] Marchionne is eager to build. The Dino, which might come to market as the 486, will look butch and aggressive rather than sleek and elegant like the original Dino 246 GT from 1969. Call the Dino an entry-level Ferrari if you want, but since the price will start around $200,000, we won’t.”
The six does make sense as the original Dino was V-6 powered, but Ferrari’s biggest reason to develop the engine is no doubt reduced emissions. Despite the brand’s special dispensation from the Feds due in large part to its low production volume, not even Ferrari cannot escape the reaper. It is hoping to cut overall emissions by some 20 percent by 2021, all while keeping performance on par with today’s cars.
Of course, the first Dino also had a five-speed manual, but Ferrari made it clear once again for the cheap seats that a shift for yourself option will not return, no matter how many journalists ask, beg, and plead for them to bring one back. Ferrari officials said that their customers have spoken, and no is the answer to manuals.