The 296 GTB’s plug-in hybrid system maximises usability and driving pleasure ..
The 296 GTB, the latest evolution of Maranello’s mid-rear-engined two-seater berlinetta, was premiered during an online event broadcast on Ferrari’s social media and web channels. The 296 GTB redefines 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 GTB ushers in an authentic revolution for Ferrari as it introduces a new engine type to flank the marque’s multi-award-winning 8- and 12-cylinder power units: a new 663 cv 120° V6 coupled with an electric motor capable of delivering a further 122 kW (167 cv). This is the first 6-cylinder engine installed on a road car sporting the Prancing Horse badge; it unleashes its massive 830 cv total power output to deliver previously unthinkable performance levels and an innovative, exhilarating and unique soundtrack. Resulting in a top speed is around 205 mph going from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) time is approx 2.9 seconds.
The car’s name, which combines its total displacement (2992 l) and number of cylinders was chosen, with the addition of the GTB (Gran Turismo Berlinetta) 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 GTB, but it also ushers in a new V6 era that has its roots deep in Ferrari’s unparalleled 70-year-plus experience in motor sports.
The very first Ferrari V6, in fact, featured a 65° architecture and debuted on the 1957 1500 cc Dino 156 F2 single-seater. This was followed in 1958 by bigger displacement versions on the front-engined sport prototypes – the 196 S and 296 S – and F1 cars, such as the 246 F1 which powered Mike Hawthorn to the F1 Drivers’ Championship title the same year.
The very first Ferrari to sport a mid-rear-mounted V6 was the 246 SP in 1961, which won the Targa Florio both that same year and in 1962, amongst many others. Also in 1961, Ferrari secured its first Constructors’ title in the Formula 1 World Championship with the 156 F1, which was powered by a 120° V6. Ferrari first installed turbos between an engine’s cylinder banks on the 126 CK in 1981 and subsequently on the 126 C2 in 1982, which became the first turbo-charged car to win the Formula 1 Constructors’ World Championship title. This was followed up with a second title in 1983 with the 126 C3. Lastly, V6 turbo hybrid architecture has been used on all Formula 1 single-seaters since 2014.
The 296 GTB’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 experience its astonishing agility and responsiveness to commands. Its sporty, sinuous design and extremely compact dimensions also visually underscore its exceptional modernity, brilliantly referencing the likes of the 1963 250 LM, the perfect marriage of simplicity and functionality.
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 GTB is also available with the Assetto Fiorano package, which includes lightweight features and aero modifications.
The 296 GTB is the first Ferrari road car to sport a V6 turbo with a vee with an angle of 120° between the cylinder banks, coupled with a plug-in electric motor. This new V6 has been designed and engineered from a clean sheet by Ferrari’s engineers specifically for this installation and is the first Ferrari to feature the turbos installed inside the vee. Aside from bringing significant advantages in terms of packaging, lowering the centre of gravity and reducing engine mass, this particular architecture helps deliver extremely high levels of power. The result is that the new Ferrari V6 has set a new specific power output record for a production car of 221 cv/l.
As the V6 turbo is integrated with an electric motor at the rear, the 296 GTB’s combined maximum power output is 830 cv, putting it at the top of the rear-wheel-drive sports car segment as well as making it extremely flexible. This is true both in terms of day-to-day contexts (the 296 GTB has a full-electric mode range of 25 km), and in driving enjoyment (accelerator pedal response is instant and smooth at all engine speeds).
The powertrain assembly comprises a V6 turbo ICE, with the 8-speed DCT and E-Diff, and the MGU-K located between the engine and the gearbox. A clutch is set between the ICE and the electric motor to decouple them in electric-only eDrive mode. Lastly there is a high-voltage battery and the inverter which controls the electric motors.
This is the first ever Ferrari 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.Aside from the V6 turbo and the 8-speed DCT already adopted on the SF90 Stradale, Ferrari Roma, Portofino M and the SF90 Spider, the powertrain architecture also includes the MGU-K electric motor positioned between the engine and gearbox, the TMA to decouple the electric motor from the ICE, the 7.45 Kwh high voltage battery, and the inverter which controls the electric motors.
The 296 GTB bursts into the mid-engined berlinetta sports car range, with several radical and innovative solutions. The turbo has been installed above the vee of the crankcase in a hot-V configuration. This means that all of components most critical to heat generation are 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 GTB, for the first time, 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 GTB to generate a high level of rear downforce when required: the equivalent of a maximum of 360 kg at 250 km/h in high-downforce configuration with the Assetto Fiorano package.
Images provided courtesy of Ferrari