As the first Ferrari to feature a mid-engined V8 layout, the Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 was quite the trendsetter. Introduced in 1973, the 308 GT4 was manufactured until 1980. Originally, these models were sold solely as Dinos, with no Ferrari badges to be found. That all changed in 1976, however, when they were replaced by Ferrari badges, perhaps due to lagging sales.
Innovative Mechanical Elements
The engine layout is what really made this car special, but there are several other innovative elements on it as well. Still, let’s start with the powerplant. The rear-mounted 3-litre V8 was the first V8 ever installed in a production Ferrari model. It boasted 255bhp in total output (or just 240bhp in American-bound models), while a 5-speed transaxle routed all of that power to the wheels.
The chassis came with a special honour as well: Niki Lauda assisted Ferrari with its development. There are few selling points better than that! A fully independent suspension, anti-roll bars, and coil springs at all four corners made the GT4 an impressive handler for its time.
Another notable aspect of the Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 was the styling. Compared to the curvaceous Dino 246, the 2+2 308 GT4 sported much more angular lines. In fact, the two models could hardly look more different. And that’s largely down to Ferrari’s decision to use Bertone instead of the long-time Ferrari designers at Pininfarina for the design of the body. As you can imagine, Pininfarina weren’t too pleased with this new development, and neither were many Ferrari fans. Reviews were mixed, with most landing on the “ugly” side, at least initially.