Ferrari 296 GTB review
A great achievement. A successor to the legendary Dino. A genius of technical development. A warning shot through the McLaren arches. Downsizing can improve the breed. Proof that Ferrari has perfectly understood the hybrid and the electric. Everything and everyone is true. But it’s probably the one that matters most: the best supercar available today.
This is the Ferrari 296 GTB. It’s a deeply, furiously complex car. Driving is never like that. Neither on the road nor on the track. Ferrari says it’s not a direct replacement for the F8 Tributo as it remains on sale (if only for another year) and is significantly cheaper. The 296 GTB costs nearly £40,000 more – £241,550. More il s’registration dans la lignée Ferrari « de tous les jours » à moteur central que a avec la 308 il ya 47 ans et qui s’est poursuivie sans interruption – et avec quelques points forts légendaires, dont la 458 Speciale – de .
Take me on a quick spin through the technical makeup of the car.
It still has an aluminum chassis (not surprising when Ferrari has its own foundry in Maranello), with two seats in front of the powertrain. Behind the seats, under the rear shelf, is a 7.45 kWh, 70 kg battery. This powers a 165hp electric motor (that’s about the size of a frying pan) that’s sandwiched between an all-new (and totally unrelated to the Maserati MC20) V6 and an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
The SF90 had another pair of electric motors for the front wheels, providing 4WD and almost zero trunk space, but this single motor is the only one in the 296. It can propel the car on its own and up to 84mph. But what he does best is to let it quietly creep away, go to Victorian school and be seen but not heard. More on that later.
What about the heart of any Ferrari: the engine?
It’s a bit of a revolution: Ferrari’s first production V6. The Dino was a sub-brand, remember. Look deep and you’ll see the famous cracked red blankets, but they’ve spread further apart, with the shores spreading 120 degrees. The place of honor in the engine compartment is now taken by a curvaceous sheet of brushed metal. Below, located in the “hot V” of the cylinder banks, are a pair of IHI turbos shared with the SF90. The turbines at both ends are slightly smaller, so they can spin faster (180,000 rpm), operate more efficiently (by 24%), and react faster.
Final score ?
This Ferrari, we’re tempted to say entry-level, has a grand total of 818bhp, 165bhp of electric thrust complemented by a further 663bhp from the twin-turbo V6. What you don’t feel, thankfully and surprisingly, is particularly turbocharged. The F8’s V8 does just that, giving itself the impression of a mighty powerhouse that’s more impressive in the midrange than the top end. This not. It kicks in at 8,500rpm and gives you a reason to keep going, with peak torque only coming in at 6,250rpm. It also doesn’t seem particularly electrified. The turbos and electric motor are there to enhance the V6, not to be the stars of the show in their own right. Sure, there are loads of lag-free low growls, but the way they blend together is amazing. You could be fooled into thinking you’re driving a particularly healthy naturally aspirated engine.
And it sounds good too, sharper and richer than the F8 Tributo’s flat V8, bubblier and full of life. Ferrari claims its engineers dubbed it the ‘piccolo V12’ – little V12 – it doesn’t have the glory of the baroque trumpet, the proud Roman pomp of a majestic 812 at full throttle, but you can see where they’re coming from.
What is it like to drive?
Along the way, it’s fluid, intimate, and connected. The steering is super quick, but Ferrari is on top of that now, so confidence up front comes naturally. It’s not very rich in road detail, but it’s extremely satisfying to turn: the weight, the resistance, the connection: everything is excellent. Body control on the smooth surfaces of southern Spain is impeccable, traction effortless, everything works in balance and harmony, it never feels heavy or caught off guard, it just carries you, it wants to entertain and amuse. Alert and player.
And when you get to a town, you can press the eD haptic button on the bottom left of the steering wheel and claim 15 miles of e-range. OK, it’s more like 10, but the point remains. You can switch to stealth mode and drive silently. Supercars seek attention, they are heard before they are seen, but here is that extra dimension that electricity brings: quiet progress and a more tolerant audience.
The gap between silent soup and clue mining is a chasm of epic proportions. Hard to believe it’s the same car, actually. Granted, it’s not since Ferrari insisted we drive a different car fitted with the £25,920 Assetto Fiorano package at the Monteblanco track, but the way it works makes me feel like a hero even if I’m protected by a bubble. electronics (6w-CDS, the central dynamic brain of the car, distributes ABS individually to each wheel, predicts grip, and controls all movement on three axes) is incredible.
The 296 is surrounded by the most dizzying set of acronyms I have ever come across. But nobody does this better than Ferrari, and they’ve never done it better than this, a car that dances so delightfully to your beat. It’s an adrenaline rush because the car feels organic and natural, but underneath it’s the opposite. Complexity? Ready friend.
We struggled with the SF90-influenced cabin. The screen control touch panel on the steering wheel requires concentration and effort, actions are not natural, inputs are delayed. The design is fine, but it didn’t alter the game much. You can at least use this one for the weekends. There’s a little wind noise, but you’ll get by because the eighth is long and the firm seats are well contoured.
Words: oli wedding
The photograph: marc riccioni
What’s the verdict?
The V6 is a beautiful thing, as is the car itself; the visor-shaped windshield, the buttresses, the side air vents inspired by the 250 LM. Only those with an electrical allergy would choose the F8 over the 296. It’s a huge step forward: Electric is used to add depth and dimension to the supercar experience, to be there when it’s beneficial, but to step back and work on the shadows when this is not the case. . Perfect. More intimate and attractive than the big brother SF90 too. With that they made the technology usable, here they took the next step: make it fun.
It’s going to give McLaren sleepless nights, that’s for sure. Both companies will say the Artura (670hp and £182,500) isn’t a direct rival, but they’re just dancing with each other. Right now, no one is building a better mid-engined supercar than this one. And it’s a V6. We think it’s a less drastic change to lose a pair of cylinders than it is to add a pair of turbos. The purity of the product fundamentally changed when 458 became 488 in 2015. This, in a very modern way, is making a comeback there.
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Source : topgear.com