FERRARI have ushered in their latest masterpiece; the mid-rear engine two-seater Berlinetta spider known simply as the 296 GTS. Powered by a turbocharged hybrid V6, it packs a thumping 610kW of power and 740Nm of torque.
The Ferrari’s 296 GTS’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. It will sprint to 100km/h in 2.9 seconds.
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 be impressed by its astonishing agility and responsiveness to commands.
Its sporty, sinuous design also visually underscores its unique and modern forms, while skilfully referencing the likes of the 1963 250 LM, the perfect marriage of simplicity and functionality.
As was the case with the SF90 Stradale, those who want to exploit the car’s extreme power and performance to the utmost, particularly on the track can have their 296 GTS with an Assetto Fiorano package, which includes lightweight features and aero modifications.
With a rear-wheel drive configuration, the 296 GTS powerplant is paired to an 8-speed DCT and e-diff. A clutch is set between the internal combustion engine and the electric motor to decouple them in electric-only eDrive mode too.
Sound-wise, the V6 engine rewrites the rulebook by harmoniously combining two characteristics that are normally diametrically opposed; the force of the turbos and the harmony of the high-frequency notes of a naturally-aspirated V12.
Even at low revs, inside the cabin, the soundtrack features pure V12 harmonics which then, at higher revs, guarantee that typical high-frequency treble. This Ferrari’s soundtrack matches its performance, creating a sense of unprecedented driver involvement.
The result is a car with an extremely clean, elegant design in which all the performance-oriented elements meld effortlessly with the styling, underscoring the inextricable marriage of technology and aesthetics that is the signature of all Ferraris.
Inside, specific design solutions have been incorporated to guarantee the same level of on-board comfort as all Ferrari’s Berlinetta offerings, with the geometry of the trim behind the headrests optimised to channel as much of the air as possible towards the tonneau cover.
The 296 GTS’s cockpit was also developed around the new concept of an entirely digital interface. It’s minimalistic (the instruments go black when the engine is off), and Italian leather trims enhance an almost noble look and feel.
With a 2,600mm wheelbase (50mm shorter than previous Ferrari mid-rear-engine Berlinetta models), the 296 GTS has outstanding dynamic agility. Its handling and performance capabilities are also backed by a number of model-specific solutions.
These include a brake-by-wire system, ‘Aero’ brake callipers, electric power steering, the rear active aero device and magnetorheological dampers. The new model retains the characteristics of its parent model, the 296 GTB to be instantly recognisable too.
The 296 GTS is backed by an extended 7-year maintenance programme. Available across the entire range, it covers all regular maintenance for the first seven years or 120,000km of the car’s life.