Ferrari 296 GTB: Evolving Maranello’s Hybrid Future

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We’ve had a taste of Ferrari’s hybrid future, first with the LaFerrari and then with the astonishingly advanced SF90, but now we welcome the next electrified chapter: the 296 GTB.

As with any Ferrari, the powertrain is the 296 GTB’s focal point. The 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 – the first V6 to wear the prancing horse badge – produces a peak output of 654bhp, which is a new production car record for power-to-capacity. Coupled to an electric motor, total output is boosted by 164bhp to 819bhp. With 546lb-ft of torque, the 296 GTB accelerates from 0-62mph in 2.9 seconds and all the way to 205mph.

A new 7.45kWh battery, mounted to the floor of the 296 GTB, allows for a pure electric range of up to 16 miles at up to 84mph. But despite the 296’s ability to silently prowl the streets, Ferrari has specifically tuned the exhaust note of the V6 engine to deliver the “harmony of the high-frequency notes of a naturally aspirated V12” – it remains as emotive as any Ferrari to-date. In fact, during development this engine was nicknamed ‘piccolo V12’ by its creators.

With the engine developed to be class-leading, attention turned to the dynamics, with the aim of creating the most engaging car in its segment. Meticulous attention was paid to reducing weight to ensure the car’s balance and delicacy of handling: adding the weight of the hybrid system was offset by a number of different solutions, including the new V6 engine, which weighs 30 kg less than the V8 unit used on previous berlinettas, and the extensive use of lightweight materials. The result is a dry weight of just 1470 kg that is class-leading in regards to the overall weight-to-power ratio: 1.77 kg/hp

The 296 GTB borrows visual inspiration from the SF90 Stradale, both inside and out, bringing with it active aerodynamic elements that are designed not to manage drag but to deliver downforce. The active spoiler integrated into the rear bumper 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 aero development work done on the 296 GTB means that even in low-drag configuration the car can deliver more downforce than previous applications. In highdownforce configuration, there is an additional 100 kg in downforce thanks to the active spoiler.

The 296 GTB’s cockpit was developed around an entirely digital interface which Ferrari first debuted on the SF90 Stradale. In the case of the 296 GTB, the idea was to clothe that technology in a sophisticated way, resulting in a pure, minimalistic cabin that, on an aesthetic level, perfectly mirrors the design of the exterior.

A track-focused Assetto Fiorano package is available for 296 GTB buyers; offering aero and lightweight improvements. Most notably, these include high downforce carbon-fibre appendages on the front bumper that can deliver an additional 10 kg of downforce, a Lexan  rear screen, and more extensive use of lightweight materials such as carbonfibre for both cabin and exterior. The Assetto Fiorano package involves much more than simply replacing elements. Some components required that the standard basic structure be redesigned, including the door panel, resulting in an overall weight-saving of 12-plus kg. Lastly, a special livery inspired by the 250 Le Mans can also be ordered exclusively by owners who opt for the Assetto Fiorano package.

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