Engines can be used for many different tasks. The displacement can be changed, cylinders added or removed, and it is not unusual for two engines to be put together to create something quite different. The 900hp Cosworth V12 which will be seen in the Adrian Newey-designed Aston Martin AM-RB 001 supercar, for example, can trace its roots back to Porsche, which created a 60-degree V6 engine back in the early 1990s, but then decided not to use it for production cars. The design was sold to Ford and the resulting engine was the Ford Duratec V6, an aluminum unit with dual overhead camshafts. The designers at Cosworth, which was then owned by Ford, then mated two of these engines end-to-end and created the 6-litre V12, which ended up belonging to Cosworth and being used by Aston Martin in its 1999 DB7 Vantage.
It’s a complex industry…
Enzo Ferrari’s son Alfredo, known as Dino, had a tragically short career as an automobile engineer. Trained in various schools in finance, economics and engineering, Dino was supposed to succeed his father. He never finished his engineering studies, stopping after two years, because of illness. The family legend suggests that it was Dino who first suggested that Ferrari build a small-capacity V6 racing engine, at the end of 1955. Others say that the idea probably came from Vittorio Jano, who had already created the first production V6 engine, working on the Lancia Aurelia with Ettore Zaccone Mina, but that Dino Ferrari thought it was a good idea.
Dino died in June 1956, at the age of 24, and never saw the finished engine. It was a 65-degree 1.5-litre dual overhead camshaft V6. This was to form the basis of the company’s modern V6 engines right up until the mid 2000s.
This engine was first raced in Luigi Musso’s Ferrari 156 in the non-championship F1 Gran Premio di Napoli at Posillipo at the end of April 1957. Musso finished third behind the Lancia-Ferraris of Peter Collins and Mike Hawthorn. The following year the engine appeared in 2.4-litre form in the 246 Formula 1 car, the first V6 in F1. This was strong enough to win the 1958 French GP at Reims, in the hands of Mike Hawthorn. The engine was also seen in 2-litre form in the Ferrari 206S sports car and in 3.2-litre form in the Ferrari 326 MI, which Phil Hill drove in the one-off Monza 500 Miles, against visiting American machinery. The engine would continue to appear in F2 and when F1 switched to 1.5-litre regulations in 1961, the Dino V6 would be the engine that gave Ferrari another Formula 1 World Championship, with Phil Hill and Wolfgang Von Trips fighting for the title. In 1961 the 2.4-litre version appeared in the 246 SP, the first mid-engined Ferrari and in the mid 1960s in the Dino 166P and its successors the 206 S and 206 SP sports cars. The engine was then re-engineered by Aurelio Lampredi and was used in a series of production cars, beginning with the 1968 Dino 206 GT and the Fiat Dino.
After Ferrari production ended, the 2.4-litre version of the engine was handed over to Lancia and powered the Lancia Stratos rally car, which enjoyed huge success in the World Rally Championship in the course of the 1970s, winning titles in 1974, 1975 and 1976 in the hands of Sandro Munari and Bjorn Waldegard, including three wins on the Monte Carlo Rally.