296 GTS: Defining the concept of driving thrills

296 GTS and Assetto Fiorano
864Views

Maranello, 19 April 2022 – The 296 GTS, the latest evolution of Maranello’s mid-rear-engined two-seater berlinetta spider, premiered today online on www.ferrari.com/auto_296-gts. The 296 GTS flanks the 296 GTB in redefining the whole concept of fun behind the wheel, guaranteeing pure emotions not just when pushing the car to its limits, but also in day-to-day driving situations.

The 296 GTS uses the new 663 cv 120° V6, coupled with an electric motor capable of delivering a further 122 kW (167 cv), which debuted on the 296 GTB. This is the first 6-cylinder engine installed on a road-going spider sporting the Prancing Horse badge; it unleashes its class-leading 830 cv total power output to deliver previously unthinkable performance levels and an innovative, exhilarating and unique soundtrack, further enhanced by the fact that it can be relished with the top down.

The car’s name combines its total displacement (2992 l) and number of cylinders with the GTS (Gran Turismo Spider) acronym in finest Ferrari tradition, to underscore this new engine’s epoch-changing importance to Maranello. It is not simply the living, beating heart of the 296 GTS, but it also ushers in a new V6 era that has its roots deep in Ferrari’s unrivalled 75-year history.

The very first Ferrari V6 featured a 65° architecture and debuted on the 1957 1500 cc Dino 156 F2 single-seater. This was followed in 1958 by larger displacement versions on the front-engined sports prototypes – the 196 S and 296 S – and the 246 F1 car which powered Mike Hawthorn to the F1 Drivers’ Championship title the same year.

296 GTS Assetto Fiorano

The 296 GTS’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. 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 be impressed by its astonishing agility and responsiveness to commands. Its sporty, sinuous design and extremely compact dimensions also visually underscore its unique and modern forms, while skilfully referencing the likes of the 1963 250 LM, the perfect marriage of simplicity and functionality.

The RHT (retractable hard top) guarantees exceptional occupant comfort. With the roof stowed it features a sleek, sporty design and with the roof up, the silhouette remains very similar to that of the 296 GTB. The lightweight RHT takes a mere 14 seconds to retract or deploy at speeds of up to 45km/h. The separation line between the car’s body and the roof is above the B post. As a result, the folding roof splits into two sections that fold flush over the front of the engine, thus maintaining the engine bay’s thermal dissipation characteristics and the balance of the overall design. This also allowed the designers to introduce a window in the rear section of the engine cover through which the new V6 is clearly visible. When the top is retracted, the cabin and the rear deck are separated by a height-adjustable glass rear screen which guarantees optimal passenger comfort even at high speeds.

As was the case with the SF90 Stradale, for clients who want to exploit the car’s extreme power and performance to the utmost, particularly on the track, the 296 GTS is also available with the Assetto Fiorano package, which includes lightweight features and aero modifications.

ELECTRIC MOTOR

This is the first ever Ferrari spider with a rear-wheel drive-only PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) architecture in which the ICE is integrated with a rear-mounted electric motor producing up to 122 kW (167 cv) derived from the Formula 1 application from which it also inherits the MGU-K (Motor Generator Unit, Kinetic) moniker. The electric motor and ICE communicate via the Transition Manager Actuator (TMA) which allows them to be used both together to produce a combined power output of 830 cv, or decouples them to allow the electric motor to run solo. 

AERODYNAMICS

 The 296 GTS bursts into the mid-engined berlinetta sports car range with several radical and innovative solutions. With the turbo installed above the vee of the crankcase in a hot-V configuration, that all of components most critical to heat generation are now clustered in the upper centre area of the engine bay, which in turns allows more efficient heat management both of the engine bay itself and of the electrical components. This sharp break from the past is further highlighted by aero choices, which have turned the active aero paradigm, introduced from the 458 Speciale onwards, on its head. On the 296 GTS, an active device is being used not to manage drag but to generate extra downforce. The LaFerrari-inspired active spoiler integrated into the rear bumper allows the 296 GTS to generate a high level of rear downforce when required: the equivalent of a maximum of 360 kg at 250 km/h in the high-downforce configuration with the Assetto Fiorano package.

EXTERIOR

The 296 GTS further emphasises the clean, sophisticated lines of the 296 GTB . When the top is down, it is the peerlessly elegant epitome of the open-air hybrid concept. Its unprecedented architecture for a spider, in fact, opens a whole new chapter in the marque’s story. The designers’ goal of retaining the 296 GTB’s main characteristics required a period of meticulous analysis of the dimensions of its technical components. There was, of course, a clear focus on minimising the impact of any modifications on the exterior bodywork and also on introducing a clear, instantly recognisable theme that would encapsulate the complexity of the design whilst translating it into accomplished linear forms.

ASSETTO FIORANO

 For clients who want to exploit the car’s extreme power and performance to the utmost, the 296 GTS Assetto Fiorano package is available; it is completely uncompromising in terms of maximum performance, thanks to significant weight reduction and aero content. Most notably, these include special GT racing-derived adjustable Multimatic shock absorbers optimised for track use; high downforce carbon-fibre appendages on the front bumper that can deliver an additional 10 kg of downforce, and more extensive use of lightweight materials such as carbon-fibre for both cabin and exterior.

7-YEAR GENUINE MAINTENANCE

 Ferrari’s unparalleled quality standards and increasing focus on client service underpin the extended seven-year maintenance programme offered with the 296 GTS. Available across the entire range, the latter covers all regular maintenance for the first seven years or 120,000 km of the car’s life. This scheduled maintenance programme for Ferraris is an exclusive service that allows clients the certainty that their car is being kept at peak performance and safety over the years. This very special service is also available to owners of pre-owned Ferraris.

The 7-Year Genuine Maintenance programme further extends the wide range of after-sales services offered by Ferrari to meet the needs of clients wishing to preserve the performance and excellence that are the signatures of all cars built in Maranello.