If summer isn’t getting you hot enough under the collar we’re sure the new Ferrari 296 GTB will do the trick.
Ferrari continues the tradition of the Berlinetta with its newest mid-rear-engined two-seater sex bomb. Promising to redefine the whole concept of fun behind the wheel, the 296 GTB ushers in an authentic revolution for Ferrari as it introduces a new engine type, a new 663 cv 120-degree V6 coupled with an electric motor capable of delivering a further 122 kW (167 cv).
This is the first 6-cylinder engine installed on a road car sporting the Prancing Horse badge and unleashes its massive 830 cv total power output to deliver previously unthinkable performance levels and an innovative, exhilarating and unique soundtrack.
The very first Ferrari to sport a mid-rear-mounted V6 was 1961’s 246 SP, which won the Targa Florio both that same year and in 1962, amongst many others. Also in 1961, Ferrari secured its first Constructors’ title in the Formula 1 World Championship with the 156 F1, which was powered by a 120° V6, so there’s some pedigree here.
The 296 GTB’s plug-in hybrid (PHEV) system guarantees the new model is an incredibly usable car while cutting pedal response times to zero and delivering a 25km range in all-electric eDrive mode. The car’s compact dimensions and the introduction of innovative dynamic control systems, as well as meticulously honed aerodynamics, ensure that the driver will instantly experience its astonishing agility and responsiveness to commands.
The 296 GTB is the first Ferrari road car to sport a V6 turbo with a vee with an angle of 120-degrees between the cylinder banks, coupled with a plug-in electric motor. This new V6 has been designed and engineered from a clean sheet by Ferrari’s engineers specifically for this installation and is the first Ferrari to feature the turbos installed inside the vee. Aside from bringing significant advantages in terms of packaging, lowering the centre of gravity and reducing engine mass, this particular architecture helps deliver extremely high levels of power. The result is that the new Ferrari V6 has set a new specific power output record for a production car of 221 cv/l.
As the V6 turbo is integrated with an electric motor at the rear, the 296 GTB’s combined maximum power output is 830 cv, putting it at the top of the rear-wheel-drive sports car segment as well as making it extremely flexible. This is true both in terms of day-to-day contexts (the 296 GTB has a full-electric mode range of 25 km), and in driving enjoyment (accelerator pedal response is instant and smooth at all engine speeds).
The 296 GTB is the first-ever Ferrari with a rear-wheel drive-only PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) architecture in which the internal combustion engine is integrated with a rear-mounted electric motor. The electric motor and ICE communicate via the Transition Manager Actuator (TMA) which allows them to be used both together to produce a combined power output of 830 cv or decouples them to allow the electric motor to run solo.
The 296 GTB also bursts into the mid-engined berlinetta sports car range with several radical and innovative solutions. The turbo has been installed above the vee of the crankcase in a hot-V configuration, allowing for more efficient cooling in a sharp break from the past that’s further highlighted by aero choices. On the 296 GTB, for the first time, an active device is being used not to manage drag but to generate extra downforce. The LaFerrari-inspired active spoiler allows the 296 GTB to generate a high level of rear downforce when required: the equivalent of a maximum of 360 kg at 250 km/h in high-downforce configuration with the Assetto Fiorano package.
The brake cooling system has also been developed around the Aero callipers introduced on the SF90 Stradale with ventilation ducts integrated into their castings. This brake cooling concept requires a dedicated duct to correctly channel cool air coming in through the air intakes on the front bumper through the wheelarch. In the case of the 296 GTB, the intake has been integrated into the headlight design. Just below the DRL, on the inner section, an aperture connects the wing to the wheelarch via a duct running parallel to the chassis strut, thus providing the cool air to the brakes.
The styling of the tail hails an unequivocal break from traditional Ferrari coupé design by adopting an architecture that creates a spider-like discontinuity between the roof and rear engine cover. This choice makes the 296 GTB both unique and instantly recognisable and, from an aerodynamic perspective, has led to the addition of a new wing profile on the roof which extends into two side fins that hug the edges of the rear engine cover.
The active rear spoiler is seamlessly integrated into the bumper design, taking up almost all of the space between the taillights. When maximum downforce is not required, the spoiler is stowed in a compartment in the upper section of the tail. But as soon as acceleration figures, which are constantly monitored by the car’s dynamic control systems, exceed a specific threshold, then the spoiler deploys and extends from the fixed section of the bodywork resulting in a 100 kg increase in downforce over the rear axle which enhances the driver’s control in high-performance driving situations and also minimises stopping distances under braking.
The most compact berlinetta to emerge from Maranello in the last decade, the 296 GTB features a cabin architecture that visually seems set into an imposing volume – the combined effect of the short wheelbase and the composition of elements, such as very muscular wings, the visor-style windscreen, robust flying buttresses and a new vertical rear screen –produce a highly original cabin silhouette that dominates the overall perception of the car.
One of the most recognisable aspects of the 296 GTB’s design is its cabin, which has a visor-style windscreen that wraps around onto the side windows. Already adopted on several limited-edition Ferraris, including the J50, and one-offs, such as the P80/C, this theme has now reached its maximum expression on a road car. The wraparound theme at the front connects organically to the flying buttress theme at the rear, together with a transparent engine cover that showcases the engine.
The 296 GTB’s aesthetic and performance prowess are instantly clear at the first glance of the car from the rear three-quarters. The powerful relationship between body and cabin is emphasised by the cut line of the roof, the conformation of the flying buttresses and the muscle of the wings. The result is a very compact car that has attitude in spades.
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