The Italian luxury sports car maker has recently been spotted testing what appears to be a Ferrari 458 Italia. However, there are several subtle signs suggesting that the vehicle is hiding something mysterious underneath.
New reports claim that the said 458 model is actually a test mule for the rumored upcoming 2019 Ferrari Dino. According to several images captured by AutoBlog's spy photographers, the vehicle is covered up to look like a Ferrari 458 in order to camouflage its true form.
If taken to be true, the updated model will be the first Dino to be released since the 1970s. The "Dino" sub-brand was designated to mid-engined, rear-drive sports cars manufactured by Ferrari from 1968 to 1976. Models coming from this line packed engines with fewer than 12 cylinders, a move made by the automaker to introduce relatively low-priced sports cars.
There are several signs indicating that the recently spied vehicle is not what it appears to be. First, the sound emanating from its engine is apparently not from the V8 engine found on the Ferrari 458, or from the newly launched Ferrari 488 GTB. Car observers suggest that it is coming from a twin-turbo V6 engine.
Aside from the unusual noise, other giveaways are the mysterious absence of an exhaust pipe at the back and the presence of huge air intakes at the sides. Those intakes are supposedly needed to cool down the V6 engine inside.
Similar to the original 1968 Dino 206 GT (pictured above), the 2019 Ferrari Dino is expected to be smaller and significantly lighter than other models in Ferrari's modern roster.
CEO Sergio Marchionne previously confirmed the impending arrival of the entry-level luxury car and that its production will certainly take place at an undisclosed date. While responding to journalists during the launch of the 488 GTB in February, Marchionne mentioned that the new Dino's release is "not a question of if, but when." When asked for further details, he added, "We [Ferrari] may produce a 500 horsepower Ferrari but it will not be a cheap Ferrari."
This 21st century Dino's V6 engine is reportedly inspired by the same mill powering the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio Verde as well as the next-generation Ferrari California T. However, some sources claim that the 2019 Dino will be marketed as a more driver-focused vehicle than the latter.
When the new Dino becomes available, the Italian luxury automaker is expected to position it as a rival to other entry-level supercars such as the Porsche 911 Turbo S, the McLaren 570S, and the high-end versions of Mercedes-AMG GT.
It is probably too early to make predictions about its price scheme. However, an automobile journalist claimed earlier this year that the 2019 Ferrari Dino will be priced around $180,000, approximately $20,000 less than the starting price of the Ferrari California T.