Ferrari’s latest 296 GTB chops off two cylinders.
You may lament the Italian automaker’s decision to forego a V8 here, but times are changing. As such, the brand new 296 GTB — an entry above the F8 Tributo in the Ferrari lineup — makes do with a 2.9-liter turbocharged engine. Bear in mind, that sort of displacement drives cars like the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio just fine, but Ferrari’s powerplant brings hybridization to the table as well. The result? A thoroughly reasonable 819 horsepower and 546 lb-ft of torque.
Ferrari says this is the “most fun to drive car in our product range”. And you know what? With more power than a McLaren Senna, Lamborghini Aventador and the equally hybrid Sián, it’s tough to argue with them on that point.
Nevertheless, it’s still a fairly historic moment for the brand, as it’s the first time we’ve seen a V6 Ferrari in nearly 40 years, since “Dino”-branded 246 GT. Ferrari claims the 120-degree V6 turbo-hybrid 296 GTB can hit 60 mph in 2.9 seconds, and 124 mph in 7.3 seconds. Top speed? That’ll be a cool 205 mph. Most of those figures are virtually the same as the F8 Tributo, although the 296 can get to 124 mph about a third of a second faster. Thanks to the electrification efforts, it’s worth bearing in mind that this latest Ferrari is 310 pounds heavier (at 3,241 pounds) than the F8.
The Ferrari 296 GTB packs a party piece by way of its hybrid system, however. The motor sandwiches between the engine and an 8-speed transmission. Not only does it add 165 horsepower to the 654 horsepower twin-turbo V6, but the 7.45-kWh battery pack is good for a full-EV range of 16 miles. It’s doubtful most owners or onlookers will care about its zero-emissions capability, but it does put the car in better stead with tightening environmental regulations.
There’s the way it goes, and then there’s the look.
If you’ve seen the Ferrari SF90 Stradale and thought, “Wow, that’s an awesome looking Ferrari!”, then you’ll likely be just as gobsmacked here. Styling’s always a subjective affair, but I’ll be damned if the company hasn’t been on a roll these past few years. Lamborghini has certainly kept up with its bold and brash styling and even McLaren has been getting more daring, but there’s a sort of elegance here that makes this 296 GTB one of the best looking supercars among the current bunch.
Take the deployable rear wing, for example. Not only does it deploy 794 pounds (360 kg) of downforce at 155 mph, it’s also stealthy by its very design. Look at it from above, and it’s clear at this point that the inevitable Spider model will look even more epic.
Inside, the new Ferrari 296 GTB packs the same 16-inch curved digital instrument cluster as you’d find in the SF90. Overall, much of the design mirrors this car’s bigger brother, but that’s definitely not a bad thing. Once you get inside, surrounded by the red and black interior accents, a substantial amount of modern tech and 819 horsepower at your beck and call, and I have a hunch most will get over that whole V6-cringe thing pretty quickly.
We — as in the lucky few who are able to pony up the dough for one of these — will see the 296 hit the roads early next year. Ferrari hasn’t confirmed exact pricing, but it’s likely their green supercar will start around $250,000.