IN a nod to the legendary Dino, Ferrari has revealed the 296 GTB, an evolution of its mid-rear-engined two-seater sports berlinetta concept, representing a revolution for the Maranello-based company.
The new model introduces the 120-degree V6 engine coupled with a plug-in (PHEV) electric motor capable of delivering up to 610kW of power, with a focus on providing maximum performance and excitement, while still being suitable for everyday driving.
The car’s name, which combines its total displacement (2.9-litres) and number of cylinders was chosen, with the addition of the GTB (Gran Turismo Berlinetta) acronym in finest Ferrari tradition.
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 V6, in fact, featured a 65-degree architecture and debuted on the 1957 1500 cc Dino 156 F2 single-seater.
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. It offers combined torque of 740Nm.
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.
Its short wheelbase and the composition of elements, such as muscular wings, the visor-style windscreen, robust flying buttresses and a new vertical rear screen. These forms produce a highly original cabin silhouette that dominates the overall perception of the car.
One of the most recognisable aspects of the 296 GTB’s design is its cabin. The wraparound theme at the front connects organically to the flying buttress theme at the rear, together with a transparent engine cover that showcases the engine.
A clear, strong crease line runs along the doors and melds with the large air intakes positioned at the most aerodynamically efficient point. The cylindrical volume of the air intakes gives rise to the protrusion of the muscular rear wing.
The headlights take their inspiration from the teardrop-shaped headlights of the past. On the 296 GTB, this styling theme is interpreted through two faired-in teardrops which are set into the front of the car like jewels.
The effect is completed by the formal composition of the DRL, which acts as the signature of the front of this car, and the brake air intake. The central single-grille styling theme has been given a new twist by reducing the height of the grille in the centre.
The 296 GTB features a single central exhaust tailpipe – a modern touch. The exhaust design completes the lower part of the profile of the centre of the bumper, which extends upwards to the taillights at either end.
It sports a new alloy wheel with a twin-spoke design that accentuates the sculptural effect of the starburst shape. There are also specific five-spoke forged wheels where the effect is highlighted by a diamond-cut finish.
Inside, te 296 GTB’s cockpit was developed around the new concept of an entirely digital interface, which Ferrari first debuted on the SF90 Stradale. This interior layout draws on the latter’s stylistic coherence for its forms.
Exclusive Italian leather trim to the seats and trim is further enhanced by the noble technical materials used on the functional components.
Once the capacitive ‘Start Engine’ button is touched, all of the components gradually spring to life and the 296 GTB reveals its technological glory in the form of an exceptionally modern, ergonomic and completely digital interface.
The sculptural door panel is a seamless continuation of the dashboard in terms of both materials and colour. On the central medallion, the styling cue is a deep lozenge-shaped scoop, a three-dimensional element. Everywhere, there is a focus on formal purity.
One example of this is the head-up display, which is integrated into the leather trim. The design of the speakers follows the same principle. Rather than metal, the designers have opted for a thermoplastic cover in the same colour as the dash.
As was the case with the SF90 Stradale, for clients who want to exploit the car’s extreme power and performance to the utmost, the 296 GTB is also available with the Assetto Fiorano package, which includes lightweight features and aero modifications.