Here’s what we now know about the Ferrari 296 GTB
Venture to parts of Italy behind the wheel of a Ferrari and locals cheer appreciatively, reveling in a sense of national pride you just don’t get with other brands of supercars. Ferrari ownership ranks among the top football teams, especially if you’re lucky enough to be behind the wheel of the latest model.
In the past, anything with the prancing horse insignia and the shiny coat of Rosso red would have sufficed, even if the Ferrari underneath was bad. Fortunately, times have changed. No more finicky two-seat petrol supercars that could sometimes work, Ferrari’s latest “entry-level” supercar comes with a long period without service.
News of the imminent arrival of the 296 GTB should worry rivals, for the first time Ferrari have changed course, with assault performance playing a slightly lesser role, instead focusing attention on a level of commitment , accessibility and world-class driver friendliness – a phrase you’ll be hard pressed to find in Ferrari history, ever.
9 A new chapter in Ferrari small road cars
There was a time when any new small entry-level Ferrari or cheaper Ferrari would have been ridiculed, after all, gearheads buy these thoroughbreds as both status symbols and performance capabilities, even if the ownership is accompanied by a series of rules to be observed. The 296 GTB we initially suspect will be no different, especially for its change of direction for the legendary marque.
In an increasingly “green” world, automakers are scrutinized not by what, but by how much comes out of their tailpipes; the baddest attract higher taxes and a cooler reception than expected. Here Ferrari, after other automakers, adopted a smaller, lighter and more environmentally friendly layout.
8 Inspired by Ferrari racers of the past
Brand new from scratch? Yes and no, taking the route of “fun to drive” lightweight sports cars without losing sight of Ferrari’s heritage, the 296 GTB sports a few nods to famous models of the past.
Ferrari has proudly taken inspiration from its past, borrowing cues from the most famous racing car, the 250 LM. How deep the pairing depends on your perspective, with both mid-engined cars designed with simplicity and functionality in mind, blazing fast when called upon yet still usable. So confident in the technical approach of the 296 GTB, Ferrari confirms its claims with a maintenance-free period of seven years.
seven Its V6 Ferrari PHEV
Not since the Dino 256 GT Ferrari used something as small as a V6 engine, the bare minimum until the announcement of the 296 GTB would have been a high-revving V8, perhaps sporting a pair of turbochargers.
Augmenting the shortage of cylinders and cubic inches of the smaller 2.9-liter V6 engine, Ferrari’s path to recovering lost performance is no different from that of other supercar manufacturers. Adding turbochargers is nothing new, here Ferrari uses a unique 120 degree V layout, with its turbos located between its cylinder banks. In addition, by increasing the power to 819 hp, Ferrari calls on its expertise in F1, adding a Yasa electronic engine.
6 Leather and carbon cockpit
Inside, nothing but the finest Italian hides adorn the cockpit, leather, carbon fiber and a host of modern instruments make the 296 GTB a modern thoroughbred. As you’d expect from a high-performance supercar, racing seats are standard, with the driver’s side facing a modern LCD cockpit with a centrally placed tachometer/speedometer switch, mirrored by a head-up display .
Speed, gear and other speed-related information is repeated via a small display mounted on the passenger side dash. Now gear heads lucky for the ride can see how fast they are approaching the next turn.
5 What will she do?
Getting to the specifics, how fast is the 296 GTB? On a track, gearheads can expect to see sixty in 2.9 seconds and a top speed of 205 mph, thanks in part to Ferrari’s 8-speed dual-clutch transmission, not to mention that the 296 GTB weighs 3,200 lbs.
Given the green hybrid credentials, the two electric motors are used more as a “filler” between shifts and starting the boost. However, the 296 GTB can be used in eDrive mode, but its 7.45 kWh li-ion battery limits range. 16 miles away.
4 Active aerodynamics
With a mid-engine pumping out over 800bhp, it’s no surprise the 296 GTB is adorned with dozens of vents and grilles. The nose alone is responsible for channeling air through the car’s radiators, the side vents supplying air to the engine and the turbochargers. At the rear, it’s the same story, grilles and air vents improve the vital flow of cooling air.
However, atop the 296 GTB’s rear, almost hidden away, we find one of its best-kept secrets. Ferrari adopted an active rear wing similar to the design of the SF90s, adding up to 360kg of downforce at medium to high speeds, improving grip where needed.
3 The Not So Special, Special Edition 296 GTB Assetto Fiorano
Even before production began, Ferrari jumped on the “special” trim bandwagon by announcing its oriented 296 GTB Assetto Fiorano model, which to us casual observers looks much the same except for a a custom paint job.
At that time Ferrari remained tight-lipped about the differences, so far the only “confirmed” changes we know of are a small 1hp/1ft-lb torque gap, with the Assetto Fiorano offering the higher torque compared to a lower power. . However, what you can’t see are the lighter, slippery carbon fiber accents that make the Assetto Fiorano a more capable track car.
2 Price vs. Performance, putting other Ferraris in the shade
Excluding Ferrari’s SF90 hypercar, the arrival of the 296 GTB could cause problems in the Italian manufacturer’s lineup, we suspect a major reason behind the late pricing reveal. At $321,000, it’s not cheap, putting it ahead of the Roma and F8 models, but nowhere near the $400,000-plus asking price of the 812 Superfast.
Entry level ? Not at these prices, but the 296 GTB is considerably faster, speeding them all up, which raises the question of how much time is left for the Roma and the F8, both relatively new but already facing fierce competition in the ranks of Ferrari.
1 Ferrari Customization Program
With a tentative production date of 2022 leaving gearheads with possibly a whole year to wait, Ferrari is at least giving you some cool toys to play with. Adopting the Ferrari “Build Your Own 296 GTB” allows you to customize paint and trim schemes, wheels, brakes and carpets.
Unfortunately, no performance enhancing upgrades are included, the customization process is pretty much limited to cosmetic changes, however, Ferrari at least confirms the existence of the 296 GTB Assetto Fiorano, which shares the same user options . The user editable choice may be limited, but it’s a great time killer while waiting for delivery.
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