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TEXT Teresa Favi

May 12, 2022

Ferrari 296 GTB, everything you need to know about Maranello's new hybrid Spider

Performance, style, power: Ferrari redesigns the 'berlinetta' concept

Ferrari’s little black horse is prancing on the Formula 1 racecourse again, bringing back to the racetrack a symbol that has always been synonymous with style, elegance and power on the road. This rebirth is all about research, innovation, design and perseverance, as well as far-sightedness: the red race-cars from Maranello are going the same route as the cars intended for road driving, as engineers, mechanics and designers work together to make cars for today, looking forward to tomorrow while drawing inspiration from yesterday.

This is confirmed by the 296 GTB, the latest new evolution of the marque’s sporty 2-seater “berlinetta” concept featuring a mid-rear engine, a car representing a sort of revolution for Ferrari in that it introduces a new 6-cylinder 663 CV engine paired with an electric motor offering an additional 167 CV: a step taken today for tomorrow, without losing sight of racing traditions, and bearing in mind the timeless Dino, fitted with the last V6 engine for on-road use, presented 54 years ago in version 246.

The new 296 GTB Ferrari

In addition to the electric motor, the car’s modernity is underlined by its dynamic control systems, sporty design and compact size, visually recalling the 1963 250 LM. And for those who want to enjoy the thrills of great performance along with the joys of aesthetic beauty, there’s the Assetto Fiorano package adding value, especially on the racetrack, with lightweight features and improved aerodynamics.

The 296 GTB proudly and boldly fits into the sporty berlinetta segment with its radical, innovative aerodynamics in no way limiting the creativity of its design: in fact, the mid-rear engine inspired the designers at the Ferrari Style Centre to redefine the berlinetta concept and give the car its modern, original, compact lines.

One of the most distinctive features of the 296 GTB is the cabin, which stands out from other Ferrari sportscars for its visor-style architecture. Already adopted on a number of limited-edition Ferraris, such as the J50, the wraparound theme at the front connects with the audacious design of the rear, featuring a transparent engine cover showcasing the V6 engine.

The new 296 GTB Ferrari

The 296 GTB’s distinctive design continues inside the cabin, with all the refinement required of a car displaying the Ferrari logo. The visual impact is that of a sporty dashboard, without excessively ostentatious instrumentation: a sort of minimalist sobriety suggesting a clear relationship between technological content and form.

Performance on the road offers all the ingredients of a true motoring fan’s delight: the V6’s performance changes depending on the calibration selected with the eManettino, a power management selector with four touch controls mounted directly on the steering wheel. From eDrive for running on electricity to Hybrid, the default mode on ignition, to Performance for press-on driving and Qualify, when the Ferrari puts all of its 830 CV to work.

The 296 GTS, a Spider version of the Berlinetta

There’s also a traditional physical selector on the steering wheel which may be used to set four different thresholds triggering intervention of the electronics, plus one entirely excluding electronic stability control. “Wet” guarantees safety on even the slipperiest roads, “Sport” represents a moderate choice, while “Race” unleashes full flawless power at no risk to the driver.

Drivers with complete mastery, experience and control can choose CT Off mode to travel with traction control disabled, offering total freedom to the driver experienced in taming the prancing horse. The Ferrari 296 GTB’s maximum speed is 330 km/h, accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.9 seconds. 

The 296 GTB

With figures like this, and a set-up like this, one might expect Ferrari to be perfectly satisfied with the car’s performance and technology, but this is not the case. However young the 296 GTB may be, its “sister” is already on the way, 296 GTS combining all the adrenaline and driving pleasure of the 296 GTB with the thrill on en plein air with the wind in your hair thanks to its retractable hard top. The engine will once again be a V6 3 litre hybrid plug-in.

Whether it’s a GTB or a GTS, the 296 is a car that deserves to end up on the most important pages of the history book Enzo Ferrari began writing nearly a century ago, because of its unusual six-cylinder engine and its high-tech features marking another step forward in the already noteworthy progress of the cars from the Maranello workshop.


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