These performance machines packed Ferrari power, but they didn’t wear the Ferrari badge that normally goes with it.
There’s little question that Ferrari makes some high-revving, high-output engines. But it may surprise you to learn that Ferraris aren’t the only cars that Ferrari engines have powered. Never mind all the F1 teams that have bought power from the Scuderia, and the Ferrari engines you’d find in a handful of random vehicles (including motorboats and quad bikes): Maranello’s engines have given heart and soul to a number of other cars, including Fiats, Alfa Romeos, Lancias and Maseratis. Here are five noteworthy examples.
Ferrari designed the engines that power every new Maserati, but nowhere was that relationship between these sister brands more apparent than in the MC12. Essentially a rebodied Enzo, the Maserati MC12 was built for the FIA GT1 World Championship. It dominated that series, but homologation regulations mandated they be based on a road-going automobile, so 50 examples were sold to private customers. At their heart sat a 6.0-liter Ferrari V12 producing 620 horsepower to drive the targa-topped supercar to 60 in less than four seconds and on to a top speed in excess of 200 mph.
The Ferrari-Maserati engine program extended beyond those two marques, however, when Alfa Romeo unveiled the 8C Competizione. Based on a Maserati platform and built by it too, the 8C was received as one of the most beautiful cars ever made, even if its handling dynamics failed to live up to its design. 500 examples were made, followed by another 500 Spiders, and what they shared in common (aside from their gorgeous design) was the Ferrari-built 4.7-liter V8 that sent 450 horsepower singing to the rear wheels. The 4C that followed (debuting this week in Geneva) uses Alfa's own turbo four-cylinder engine.
Long before the MC12 and 8C, there was another beautiful Italian sportscar powered by a Ferrari engine, and that was the Lancia Stratos. Originally designed for rally competition, the Stratos had an angular wedge shape penned by Bertone. At the heart of its short wheelbase sat the 2.4-liter Ferrari Dino V6. Fewer than 500 road-going examples were made, and remain highly sought after. An independently-designed prototype for a new Stratos based on the Ferrari 430 Scuderia was ultimately torpedoed by Ferrari chief Luca di Montezemolo, even though he drove and loved it.
Enzo Ferrari had two sons: Piero, who remains a vice-chairman of the company, and Dino, who tragically died at only 24 years old. Having suggested a V6 engine for racing, Dino’s name was honored with just such a powerplant that went on to power a series of Ferrari road and race cars in V6, V8 and V12 forms. Perhaps most famous were the Dino 206 and 246, cars that are recalled as Ferraris, and were built as such, but which never wore the Ferrari badge. The Dino was one of Maranello’s first mid-engined designs, and remains one of its most beautiful... even if it did have only six cylinders.
The final place on our list goes to a car that, as far as we know, was never actually built. The Lazzarini design called for the 4.5-liter V8 engine from the Ferrari 458 Italia to be placed in the back of a Fiat 500 to make for one bonkers hot hatch that would make a Renaultsport Clio V6 blush. Its 570 horsepower would have had to be detuned slightly to 550, but with just 2,200 lbs to motivate, it would have delivered one heck of a ride, even with its wheelbase stretched by almost a foot to accommodate an engine with twice as many cylinders as it was ever designed to fit.