Ferrari seems bent on proving that it’s prepared to wean itself from combustion-powered propulsion. On the heels of the SF90 Stradale and Spider as its first plug-in hybrid models, the Maranello-based automaker follows them up with the 296 GTB, unveiled in a broadcast over Ferrari’s online channels.
Looks like Ferrari is having a blast transitioning to electric power
The latest Ferrari masterpiece pairs a mid-engine hybrid powertrain and rear-wheel-drive for the first time. Another notable feature making its roadgoing debut is the carmaker’s V6 engine layout, premiering on the street-legal 206 GT in 1967 marketed under the Dino sub-brand. Enzo Ferrari himself objected to the mid-engine layout on his production models back then for safety reasons, eventually relenting in the belief that the V6’s relatively low power compared to a V12 would make the car more manageable.
Ferrari claims that the updated V6 leverages the company’s over 70 years of experience in motorsports while ushering in a new era of V6 power for the marque. But then, there’s more to the car than just what makes it fly over the pavement.
The Ferrari Styling Center was responsible for the 296 GTB’s flowing silhouette which features a clean surface and compact proportions. Its tapered front end showcases a streamlined fascia comprising headlamps pushed to the outer edges accompanied by LED DRLs and air intakes for the brakes, with a wide intake grille spanning the width of the car that incorporates twin radiators.
The V6 engine lies underneath three-dimensional glass
Prominent character lines on the profile terminate in large intakes on the 296 GTB’s muscular wings, with the wide haunches leading to the intricately styled Kamm tail. The concealed tail lights run parallel to the retracting rear spoiler, while the single central tailpipe is mounted high above the rear diffuser.
A flying buttress hovers above the three-dimensional glass engine cover, while a selection of forged alloy and carbon fiber wheels complete the car’s imposing stance. Aside from the standard version, the 296 GTB is also available in the Assetto Fiorano package featuring aero enhancements, lighter materials, and a special 250 Le Mans-inspired livery.
Climbing aboard the 296 GTB will place both driver and passenger in awe, starting with the fully digital interface introduced on the SF90 Stradale. Exclusive Italian leather begets indulgence even before the journey begins, accompanied by sculpted door panels.
Just beyond the multi-function flat-bottomed steering wheel is a wide view of the road ahead courtesy of the car’s visor-inspired windshield.
The tech-laden interior is adapted from the SF90 Stradale
Both sides of the control area are dominated by structural supports holding up the instrument panel, integrating into the air vents. A push-button shifter is located on the center console, inspired by gated Ferrari manuals, along with a small compartment for the ignition key.
Tech & safety
One push of the engine start button and the instrumentation comes to life, with the main cluster recessed away from glare on sunny days. Two side satellites feature capacitive touch controls, and drivers benefit from a Head Up Display (HUD) integrated into the leather dashboard trim. Occupants riding shotgun get a secondary display on the top edge of the glove box.
Some of the 296 GTB’s safety features include electronic traction control, a new brake-by-wire unit that facilitates energy recovery, and a new ‘ABS evo’ feature that restricts pedal travel to a minimum under braking without compromising efficiency.
Engine & drivetrain
The showcase on the 296 GTB is the 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged gasoline V6 working in concert with an electric motor between the engine and the gearbox, producing a combined output of 818 hp. An 8-speed dual-clutch transmission channels the power to the rear wheels, while a Transition Manager Actuator (TMA) allows the engine to be decoupled, letting the car run on pure electric power.
This is the first time Ferrari is marketing a roadgoing V6 under its own name
Achieving 100 km/h from a standstill takes only 2.9 seconds, the same figure as on the F8 Tributo, while a sprint to 200 km/h clocks in at 7.4 seconds. The 296 GTB’s all-electric range is rather limited, however, with only 25 kilometers before needing to recharge the 7.45 kWh battery.
The 2022 Ferrari 296 GTB is expected to carry a sticker price of €269,000 (over Php 15.5 million) for the standard release in its home market, climbing up to €302,000 (almost Php 17.5 million) for the Assetto Fiorano version.
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Joseph Paolo Estabillo