Fiat Dino 2400 Coupé: Keeping The Name Alive
Prompted by competition requirements and named after Enzo Ferrari’s son, the Fiat Dino originated from an agreement between Ferrari and Fiat to produce a spider and a coupé that were designed and assembled by two great Turin coachbuilders.
In the mid-Sixties, Ferrari needed to homologate an engine for its Formula 2 racing cars, leading to a manufacturing agreement with Fiat for the supply of 500 “Dino”V6 engines, named in honour of Enzo Ferrari’s son, who died prematurely after having contributed to their design.
Around this sophisticated new two-litre V6 engine, Fiat decided to produce two sports cars. In 1966, Pininfarina was commissioned to create the Spider, and the following year Bertone presented the Coupé. The latter was a four-seater with a longer wheelbase than the Spider, making it slightly heavier and slower, but it was instantly more popular on the market, despite the Spider’s appeal.
The conventional layout consisted of a longitudinal front engine coupled to a five-speed gearbox. It also included rear-wheel drive with a sporty self-locking differential. The independent front suspension was coil sprung, whereas the rigid rear axle was supported on single leaf springs. Both the Spider and Coupé were equipped with disc brakes on all four wheels.
The car’s success continued to grow, even more so in the coupé than in the spider version, prompting the launch in 1969 of a second series with a new 2.4-litre engine.
The new engine brought a further bump in performance, the 65-degree V6 unit expanding to 2418 cc and producing 180 horsepower at 6600 rpm. The Dino 2400 Coupé reached a top speed of 205 km/h. In addition to the new engine, the second series Dino benefited from new rear axle independent suspension derived from the flagship Fiat 130, which considerably improved cornering ability.
From 1967 to 1972, a total of 7577 Fiat Dino Coupés were produced in both engine variants. During the Seventies, Bertoni continued to work closely with Ferrari, Fiat and Lancia, leading the Turin-based coachbuilder to build the multiple WRC-winning Lancia Stratos around the same engine.