The latest evolution of the mid-engined two-seater sports Berlinetta concept, the 296 GTB, was unveiled in Maranello on June 24, 2021. It is the first 6-cylinder engine in the history of a road car to bear the "Prancing Horse" logo. Its name, which combines the total displacement (2.992 liters) and the number of cylinders, followed by the abbreviation GTB (Gran Turismo Berlinetta) in the best Ferrari sports tradition, is intended to underscore the epoch-making significance of the new V6 engine for the Maranello brand. It is the real heart of the 296 GTB and the harbinger of a new era, but one that has its roots in Ferrari's incomparable experience of over seventy years in racing.
V6 (then in 65° configuration and with a total displacement of 1500 cm3). The first Ferrari, with a mid-engine V6, was the 246 SP in 1961, which also won the Targa Florio in the same and the following year. Also in 1961, Ferrari won its first Formula 1 Constructors' World Championship title with the 156 F1, which was equipped with a 120° V6 engine. Ferrari installed a mid-turbocharger for the first time in 1981 on the 126 CK and in 1982 on the 126 C2, the first turbocharged car to win the Formula 1 Constructors' World Championship. The success of the 126 C3 followed in 1983. Finally, the V6 turbo-hybrid architecture has been used in all Formula 1 single-seaters since 2014.
The car represents a true revolution for Ferrari, introducing a new engine to complement its award-winning 8- and 12-cylinder powerplants: a 663 hp 120° V6 turbo coupled to a plug-in electric motor (25 km in all-electric mode) capable of delivering an additional 122 kW (167 hp). The turbochargers are located inside the V-engine. The goal: significant advantages in terms of compactness, lower center of gravity and mass, and extremely high performance. In terms of specific power, the 296 GTB sets an absolute record for a production vehicle with its 221 hp/liter. The integration of the electric motor at the rear increases maximum power to 830 hp. The rear powertrain consists of an endothermic V6 turbocharged engine, the 8-speed DCT transmission with ediff, and the MGU-K electric machine, which is located between the engine and transmission and in line with the combustion engine. The clutch, positioned between the combustion engine and the electric motor, ensures the decoupling of the two elements during electric driving. The vehicle's powertrain is completed by the high-voltage battery and the inverter that controls the electric motors.
The dynamic development of the 296 GTB has focused on enhancing the pure performance of the vehicle. New components have been developed, including the TMA actuator and the 6-way chassis dynamics sensor (6w-CDS), the first of its kind in the automotive world, or features such as the "ABS evo" controller, which uses information derived from the 6w-CDS sensor, and the grip estimator integrated into the EPS. Weight has been contained (-30 kg compared to the Ferrari V8) and materials lighter. This results in a dry weight of only 1470 kg, putting it at the top of the category in terms of power-to-weight ratio (1.77 kg/hp). With the "eDrive" performance, it reaches a speed of 135 km/h without the help of the combustion engine. In "Hybrid" mode, on the other hand, the combustion engine assists the electric motor when more power is needed. The transition between electric and hybrid gear is handled very smoothly to ensure continuous acceleration and make the power of the powertrain available in the shortest possible time. On the chassis side, the wheelbase has been shortened by 2600 mm, 50 mm less than on previous mid-engine Ferrari Berlinettas, which benefits dynamic agility.
The designer's wish was fulfilled, they gave the car a compact, modern and original line. One of the most distinctive elements of the 296 GTB is the umbrella-like cabin, which sets it apart from other Ferrari sports cars. In limited editions, such as the J50, or in one-offs, such as the P80/C, the cabin has already been experimented with and is expressed here in its full maturity. It combines organically with the sweeping arch at the rear and the transparent engine compartment, which emphasizes the V6 engine. The front end presents a pure, polished, compact volumetrics. The side shows the elegance of the 296 GTB and the curved musculature of the fenders. The cross-section of the fender has been designed to allow the airflow to the spoiler to reach the necessary flow velocity, creating the required aerodynamic performance. Another feature of the 296 GTB is the truncated rear end, a surface milled from solid wood that reinforces the compactness of the volumes. The presence of a single central exhaust represents an element of modernity: Its design completes the base of the profile of the central structure of the bumper, which extends upwards to the light clusters and reinforces the horizontal position of the rear.
The interior of the 296 GTB is built around the fully digital interface. The reason for this is to incorporate the technical content into a refined look. The surfaces, in fine Italian upholstery, are complemented by noble technical materials for the functional parts. The passenger compartment has a minimalist design. The display, standard on the 296 GTB, offers a participatory experience of the ride, almost like a co-pilot. The door trim is developed in chromatic and material continuity with the dashboard. This type of architecture gives an extreme lightness to the entire trim and creates a theme linked to the rear surface. The 296 GTB has seats with a specific tuning fork design achieved through the use of contrasting channels in harmony with the contour of the cabin.
830 HP (610 kW) at 8'000 RPM
2.9 SEC 0-100 km/h