MARANELLO – The 296 GTB (Gran Turismo Berlinetta), the latest evolution of Ferrari’s mid-rear-engined two-seater coupé, was shown for the first time yesterday in production-ready form during an online event broadcast on Ferrari’s social media and web channels. Ferrari says the petrol-electric 296 GTB redefines the concept of fun behind the wheel, guaranteeing pure emotions not just when pushing the car to its limits, but also in day-to-day driving situations.
The 296 GTB ushers in a revolution for Ferrari as it introduces a new engine type to flank the marque’s multi-award-winning 8- and 12-cylinder power units: a new 488kW 120° V6 coupled with an electric motor capable of delivering a further 122kW. You can drive the car for 25km in full electric mode, but what you really want is to dial it up into Qualify mode to unleash the full 610kW potential of the propulsion unit.
The car’s name, which combines its total displacement (2992 l) and number of cylinders was chosen, with the addition of the GTB (Gran Turismo Berlinetta) acronym in finest Ferrari tradition, to underscore this new engine’s epoch-changing importance to Maranello. It is not simply the living, beating heart of the 296 GTB, but it also ushers in a new V6 era that has its roots deep in Ferrari’s unparalleled 70-year-plus experience in motor sports.
The very first Ferrari to sport a mid-rear-mounted V6 was the 246 SP in 1961, 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. Ferrari first installed turbos between an engine’s cylinder banks on the 126 CK in 1981 and subsequently on the 126 C2 in 1982, which became the first turbo-charged car to win the Formula 1 Constructors’ World Championship title. This was followed up with a second title in 1983 with the 126 C3. Lastly, V6 turbo hybrid architecture has been used on all Formula 1 single-seaters since 2014.
The 296 GTB’s plug-in hybrid (PHEV) system guarantees it is an incredibly usable car as well as 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 aero ensure that the driver will instantly experience its astonishing agility and responsiveness to commands. Its sporty, sinuous design and extremely compact dimensions also visually underscore its exceptional modernity, brilliantly referencing the likes of the 1963 250 LM, the perfect marriage of simplicity and functionality.
As was the case with the SF90 Stradale, for clients who want to exploit the car’s extreme power and performance to the utmost, particularly on the track, the 296 GTB is also available with the Assetto Fiorano package, which includes lightweight features and aero modifications.