The Macchi M.C.205N Orione (Orion) was a major redesign of the M.C.205V, based on the same licence-built DB605 engine, but with a new longer fuselage. When the DB605 engine became available in Italy two approaches were taken to getting the new engine into a front line fighter. The first was to match the new engine with the fuselage of the M.C.202, to produce the M.C.205V Veltro (Greyhound). The second was to begin the design of a number of Serie 5 aircraft. This produced the Fiat G.55, the Reggiane Re.2005 and the Macchi M.C.205N Orione.
Although the M.C.205N closely resembled the M.C.205V it actually featured a new, and somewhat longer fuselage (with most of the extra length in the nose). Two prototypes were completed. The N-1, which made its maiden flight on 1 November 1942, was armed with one 20mm cannon firing through the propeller hub and four 12.7mm guns, two in the wings and two in the fuselage above the wing roots. The second, N-2, retained the nose gun but replaced all of the 12.7mm guns with 20mm cannon.
The M.C.205N performed well in tests, and was ordered into production, but in the spring of 1943 production was cancelled in favour of the Fiat G.55. Two further designs reached the prototype stage as the M.C.206 and M.C.207 but neither prototype was completed.