Ferrari 296 GTB: Ferrari goes green

Shapur Kotwal

Ferrari has entered a new era; one of them will use greener and more sustainable technologies to power its mainstream supercars. The latest of these is the new 296 GTB, the name derived from the new 2.9-liter V6 engine, located between the driver and the rear axle. This is the first time the V6 has been used in a production car with a Ferrari badge on the front, while the 296 GTB is equipped with a plug-in hybrid system with a fully electric mode. In order to go on sale together with the F8 Tributo, which may be discontinued in 2022, it is expected that the 296 GTB will be launched in the Indian showroom in mid-2022, with an estimated price of 57 crore rupees.

The design is just right. Ferrari has successfully restored the clean but sexy appearance of its early mid-engined cars. The designer combined a sharp nose, a sun visor-style windshield and a muscular rear fender. The typical Ferrari flying buttresses are located on both sides of the engine. They help increase rigidity and help make the roof contour line smoother.

Sexy 250 LM-like hips stand out among other clean cut designs.

The nose is very crisp, and the clean and beautiful outline makes it look very chic. The protruding chin is the perfect base. The 296 GTB no longer uses the vertically aligned headlights seen on the early mid-engine Ferrari, but uses a new horizontally aligned headlight, similar to the SF90. Along the side, a sharp crease runs down the door, connecting the front and rear, and the protruding rear fender is reminiscent of the 250 LM in 1963. The design of the rear is clean again, except for another 250 LM-like a touch-an integrated spoiler that protrudes at the rear. Interestingly, the 296 GTB can also be purchased with optional carbon fiber wheels, which are 8 kg lighter than the already light forged wheels.

In terms of aerodynamics, Ferrari used active aerodynamics for the first time to generate downforce instead of reducing drag. If you choose the Fiorano track kit, it is said that the active rear spoiler can generate up to 360 kg of downforce at a speed of 250 km/h. The car also uses “Aero” brake calipers, which are cooled by pipes integrated in the headlights.

Power comes from the new 120-degree 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6, which can produce 663 horsepower; equivalent to 221 horsepower per liter—a record for a production car. The turbocharger is located between the cylinder banks to achieve a compact package and reduce engine mass. Despite the turbocharger, the V6 is said to emit “naturally aspirated V12 high-frequency notes.” In fact, Ferrari engineers are said to call the new F163 engine “Little V12” because of its unique sound. By the way, its red line is 8,500 rpm, which is shared with the V12 in the 812 Superfast.

At 830hp, 0-100kph takes 2.9 seconds, and 0-200kph takes 7.3 seconds.

The electric motor that constitutes the hybrid power system can produce 167 horsepower of healthy power, making the total output power of the system reach 830 horsepower. This is approximately 110 horsepower higher than the F8 Tributo powered by the V8. The 296 GTB can also be driven by electricity alone for up to 25 km and up to 135 km/h). The four drive modes-eDrive, Hybrid, Performance and Qualify, can be activated through the “eManettino” switch on the steering wheel, each with a different degree of electric motor drive.

Ferrari claims that the 296 GTB is also its most interesting driving car. It is said that the handling is like a kart, with many new technologies and many other factors.

The main one is that its wheelbase is 50 mm shorter than the F8 Tributo. Although there is no carbon fiber bathtub, competitors have, but the dry weight of the car is still 1,470 kg-only 35 kg more than the F8. In addition to Ferrari Slip Control (SSC), which helps control sliding, there is now a second device that can obtain data from the power steering system. The latter cross-references information and helps speed up all important “grip strength estimates” by 35%. The 296 GTB is also equipped with six-channel dynamic chassis sensors (supposedly the first to be used in a production car), which can improve the accuracy of data collected in various driving scenarios. There is also a new “ABS Evo” brake-by-wire function, which reduces the brake pedal stroke and ensures that the braking distance is shortened by approximately 8-9%. The ABS Evo system does not have a yaw rate sensor because it also measures the acceleration and speed of the three axes to better determine when to intervene, especially under high turning loads.

This is a very focused driving environment with almost no distractions.

The 296 GTB is also equipped with a digital cockpit. The concave instrument panel is partially equipped with a digital instrument panel, and the steering wheel has capacitive touch control with many functions. There is no central touch screen, just like Rome, but Ferrari uses a stylized version of the classic “double H door” design to control the gearbox functions.

Although many people will miss the features of the V8 engine, there is no doubt that the 296 GTB and its technology derived from Formula One may provide more. Better straight-line performance, more agile chassis, and as Ferrari claims, more driver involvement and go-kart-like feel.

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