It seems that Ferrari is quickly evolving with the times as they have unveiled a new model with a whole new engine. Introducing the 296 GTB, Ferrari’s first attempt at a V6 supercar in the 21st century and not only that, they made it turbocharged and also a hybrid. Despite the loss of the additional two cylinders from their usual line of mid-engined supercars, the 296 GTB still produces an astounding 819 horsepower from that 2.9-litre engine.
Yes, the 296 GTB is only available in the form of a 2.9-litre V6. Though, before you think this might be their new entry level because of its lower displacement engine, the car is much more powerful than the current F8 Tributo which only has 710hp. That being said, the 296 GTB is placed right between the F8 Tributo and the SF90 Stradale. Ferrari however mentioned that the 296 GTB is ‘the most fun to drive car in our product range’.
Is This The Birth Of A Modern Dino?
One may argue that this has similar characteristics of the 246 Dino from the 70’s and to be honest, I too get the same vibes of it being a modern day Dino. It has very similar characteristics from the V6 to even the design language of the car. Despite the car featuring more styling cues from the SF90, the glass panel between the flying buttresses that looks over the engine has the word Dino planted in my mind. That being said, I personally prefer this styling element over the SF90’s as it seems more matured and refined.
Fun fact, the Dino was actually a Ferrari that never had Ferrari badges and it was actually named after Enzo’s late son.
The All-New 2.9-litre V6 Engine
Let’s go back to the car and more specifically the new engine. The 2.9-liter 120-degree V6 engine alone makes 654hp, giving 218hp per liter, which according to Ferrari, is the highest specific output of any production car on sale. With the addition of an electric motor, you’ve got a combined total of 819hp and 740Nm of torque, which will propel you from 0-100km/h in just 2.9 seconds and to 200km/h in 7.3 seconds.
Just for the sake of comparison, the F8 Tributo requires 2.9 and 7.6 seconds to reach the same speeds. Ferrari says the 296 can lap the Fiorano track in 1:21, a 1.5-second improvement on the F8. The 296 GTB too comes with an active rear spoiler that contributes to a total of 360kg of downforce at 250km/h while the car itself will max out at 330km/h. Could the 296 GTB be paving the way for future Ferraris?
Is The New Hybrid System Borrowed From The SF90 Stradale?
Well not really, it’s a single 164hp, 314Nm electric motor mounted between the V6 engine and the eight-speed transmission, and a 7.45 kWh battery pack mounted under the floor. The 296 GTB is also a rear-wheel drive Ferrari as compared to the SF90. However, there’s a dedicated EV mode that is capable of doing 25km as claimed by Ferrari. It is believed that this hybrid powertrain is what will be powering Ferrari’s upcoming SUV but it is yet to confirmed.
Into The Belly Of The Beast
The interior is somewhat elegant. It’s not something that seems futuristic but it isn’t dull either. It is definitely a more driver-focused vehicle as there aren’t any big fancy screens that stick out like a sore thumb on the center console. The dashboard too is rather reminiscent of the Dino from the 70’s while the transmission tunnel mounted-console seems straight out of the SF90 Stradale.
But What If I Want More?
Ferrari also offers an optional package for the 296 GTB called the Assetto Fiorano handling package. The package will lighten the car down as well as your wallet. The package will include multimatic dampers, carbon body parts, a composite rear screen and sticky Michelin Cup 2 R rubber to help reduce weight by 12kg. And if you still have money to spend, you can opt for the optional carbon fiber wheels that will shed another 7kg.
What Will All Of This Cost Me?
Prices for the Malaysian market have been announced at RM1,228,000 inclusive of a 7-year maintenance programme. Prices however are before option customization, duties and insurance. Though, the price for the optional Assetto Fiorano handling package as well as the optional carbon wheels too have not been announced for now.
While European customers have started receiving their 296 GTBs earlier in the year, it seems that local customers should expect the earliest batch to arrive later this year.
Written by | Danial Malek
Images by | NoEqual.co & Naza Italia