Talk of a modern Ferrari powered by a V-6 dates back more than a decade, but the Italian automaker finally unveiled one on Thursday in the form of the new 296 GTB.
The latest entry follows in a long line of mid-engine cars from Ferrari, and brings to the table a plug-in hybrid powertrain comprising a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 with a wide 120-degree “vee” angle as the internal-combustion component. The wide angle helps create a lower center of gravity while providing adequate space for the turbos to be mounted above.
The V-6 revs to 8,500 rpm and is mated to an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission, and sandwiched between these two units is a single electric motor. The engine generates 654 hp on its own while the electric motor adds 164 hp to bring the total to 818 hp. Peak torque is 545 lb-ft and drive is the rear wheels only.
Ferrari 296 GTB
The setup is different to the one in the SF90 Stradale which has a V-8 instead of a V-6, along with two additional electric motors at the front axle. However, the 296, like the SF90, can also drive on electric power alone. A small 7.45-kilowatt-hour battery makes an electric range of about 15 miles possible.
Such a setup is similar to the one in the rival McLaren Artura, though in the Artura, you're only looking at 671 hp and 531 lb-ft of torque, which means the Ferrari is probably quite a bit quicker. Claimed performance specs include 0-62 mph acceleration in 2.9 seconds, a top speed of over 205 mph, and a Fiorano lap time of 1:21. That makes it quicker than even the 488 Pista.
With the lower cylinder count, Ferrari has managed to reduce the wheelbase compared to mid-engine V-8 models by about 50 millimeters. The engine is also naturally lighter, with Ferrari quoting a dry weight of about 3,240 pounds.
Ferrari 296 GTB
For buyers looking to reduce weight further, there's the Assetto Fiorano package which saves about 33 pounds thanks to lighter door panels, carbon fiber pieces, and a Lexan rear windscreen. It also adds adjustable Multimatic shocks, additional aero elements, and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires.
The interior follows a similar theme to the SF90, right down to the controls for the transmission which resemble the gated manual design of classic Ferraris. Greeting the driver is a digital instrument cluster while the passenger gets their own speed display.
The 296 GTB, the name coming from the specific 2,992-cc displacement and 6-cylinder configuration of the V-6, as well as Ferrari's Gran Turismo Berlinetta designation, serves as the replacement for the F8 Tributo in the Prancing Horse's lineup, as opposed to a new entry-level mid-engine car as had been rumored. This means it will likely be priced similar to the F8 which starts at about $277,000. Deliveries start in early 2022.