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I thought this was interesting...

SOURCE: CAR-UK

Fiat to launch an Elise named Dino
By James Foxall
19 September 2008 00:11

Fiat is planning a massive product offensive over the next three years and could re-launch the evocative Dino badge on a Lotus-derived sports car, CAR has learned. Not to be confused with the Dino of Ferrari fame, Fiat's version was all about affordable, stylish transport – and we could see the badge on a new Elise-based sports car due in three years' time.

Fiat has entered into an agreement with Lotus so that it can develop its own version of the British company’s next Elise roadster. Fiat is basically repeating what Vauxhall did with the VX220; piggybacking a highly successful sports car and developing a mildly different version.

Fiat's new Dino sports car is due in 2011
The new Fiat sports car will hit showrooms in 2011, CAR has discovered. It had been thought it would use the newly resurrected Abarth badge. However the Italian firm’s CEO Lorenzo Sistino told us: 'I think it would be great to go into the small two-seater roadster market again – and it would be brilliant if we could bring back the Dino badge, too.'

Fiat launched its first model with the Dino badge in 1966. Echoing modern platform sharing techniques, it was a convertible built around the same basic chassis as the firm’s 124 Spider.

Why is Fiat teaming up with Lotus?
To secure its long-term future, Sistino says it must open new areas of the market.
MORE HERE

While the above article makes it sound like its just a "badge revival" that could possibly be sold as a Fiat branded product, AutoBlog interpreted this as being a completely new brand using the Dino name - something akin to Fiat's push to kind of set up the Abarth brand as a performance brand within the corporate umbrella.

SOURCE: AutoBlog

Fiat's thinking of resurrecting its Dino sub-brand with a version of the next generation of Lotus Elise. While the original Dino looked like an Iso Grifo and helped Ferrari homologate a V6 engine for competition, the new Dino will be all about Fiat finding a niche and filling it.

1967 Fiat Dino Coupe
 

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Re: Fiat's new Dino sports car is due in 2011

This is very curious to me. I'm all for a sport car revival, but the Dino was not a mid-engined car, it was front-engined/RWD.

To bring back such a product, but make it mid-engined, really doesn't pay homage to the Dino moniker, does it?

I'm all for new sports-cars - but if Fiat was looking to use the Elise as a basis, wouldn't it be FAR better to use it to herald the return of the legendary Lancia Stratos?

That kind of revival would be more true to the original formal than a mid-engined Fiat Dino would be, no?

Seriously - why not just use it for a Stratos? Fiat could get a true sports car without reviving and entire brand and give Lancia a shot in the arm at the same time.

I'd love to see the modern interpretation of one of these beauties on the road...

 

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I think that after a sequence of cunning moves, Fiat has lost their way. This is by no means a Dino. Nick is right about the Lancia - who needs new models the most. That said, I am not sold on a British-built Italian-branded mid-engined car. Fiat'd better bring back the Barchetta (or kept it in production as a Lancia Fulvia):




WAIT!

Sometime ago, a British (!) designer and fun designed and built a few examples of a modern Lancia Stratos. What did Lancia do with that? Nuffink and nuffink. Thanks for nothing, Fiat!







Company site:

http://www.fenomenon.com/
 

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Unlike in their heyday, Lancia and Alfa now must fit into the Fiat Group's larger scheme.

Personally, I'd rather see Lancia stick primarily to luxury sedans and let Alfa handle the sporting coupés, though I think that lovely little Fulvia Coupé concept (Fulvietta?) would be a welcome addition to the Lancia portfolio.

Heck maybe even let Maserati dip its toes into the shallow end of the sports coupé pool.

Despite the Stratos' storied past, I think a small mid-engined roadster would be best offered as a Fiat, though it shouldn't carry the revered Dino moniker...

Sort of a modern-day iteration of the interesting little 850 Spider of the '60s and '70s...
 

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Well, Lancia built the Stratos during Fiat ownership, go figure... Oh, the engine was a Dino V6 :D :D :D

Lancia is not a "luxury sedan" brand. Their only model, the Thesis, is playing fourth fiddle in that market. Lancia is a mostly "premium small car" brand, with their foray into the midmarket with the new Delta.

Anyway, Fiat and the Olivier guy running Lancia are stupid in their thinking that Lancia should have nothing to do with sport. You cannot sell luxury without sport, and couldn't ever. Lancia has always been prominent in motorsport, even back when they built their luxury limousines - which were merely bodystyles put on the same chassis that underpinned their GTs. Lancia has a unique history of building really good and luxurious small cars, and Fiat exploits that well, for sure.

The Lancia-Alfa relationship, which bothers Fiat, could be more like a Ferrari-Maserati one. BOTH build sportscar, even competition models (see Maserati MC12), but Maserati is more about luxury and "fine driving", while Ferrari is, well, red and fast. There's no point why Lancia shouldn't get a modern Stratos to boost their driving credentials.
 
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