At the start of the endless straight line of the Monteblanco track, I stop the 296 GTB and remind myself of the Ferrari monitor’s instructions: ” To activate Launch Control, brake with your left foot, select CT off mode, press the L button between the seats and accelerate to full speed. When you’re ready, tighten your muscles and release the brake pedal. Good luck ! » Engine revs that stop at 3,000 rpm, the Ferrari 296 GTB gathers all its powers and then presents them like a superpower. Take off takes my breath away. My eyes are blurred. Three seconds later, already 100 km/h, the V6 insists, the turbo whistles, the gears whistle like a gunshot, another four seconds, already 200 km/h, the thrust is barely dwindling, the landscape is liquefiing, the speedometer is already showing 270 km/h . h, the hairpin is far away already there, the brake sign is also, I’m crushing the left pedal. Stop. The tour will end in slow motion, time to regain my senses. And to think I underestimated the first six-cylinder road Ferrari…
It’s true that the technical data sheet for the new V6 3.0 biturbo doesn’t really conjure up entry-level: 663 hp and 750 Nm of torque alone, the top speed increased to 8,500 rpm, recording a certain amount of power per 221 hp for a standard engine. liter. As if that wasn’t enough (for whom exactly?), Ferrari backed this up with an electric unit that delivered 167 hp and 315 Nm of peak torque. on arrival, 296 GTB spitting 830 hp and 900 Nm cumulative torque provided you switch to the “Attribute” mode dedicated to maximum performance. Remember the Enzo supercar, where the V12 6.0 peaked at 660 horsepower?
The little 296 GTB isn’t nearly as brash, its 7.45 kWh battery allows for an electric range of 25 km after recharging (4 hours at the home socket or just 20 minutes while driving), its consumption at 6.4 l/100 km and its homologated consumption is reducing. CO emissions2nd at 149g/km. Open ? This rocket on tires gets a €900 microfine, less than a three-cylinder Ford Fiesta ST. And it’s billed far from the €40,000 eco tax of the Ferrari F8 Tributo (with V8 biturbo 720 hp)… €40,000 less in the catalogue. For the same final price, we’ll see whether you prefer to reward the Prancing Horse’s talent or fill the French State’s coffers.
Price Ferrari 296 GTB and Assetto Fiorano
The price of the 296 GTB in France is set at €271.114. This price does not include Apple CarPlay connection (€3,000), reversing radars (€1,968) or leather-Alcantara floor mats (€600 to €4,200). All get lost in a long list of carbon fiber-clad options that combine classic elements: steering wheel, seats, air extractor… but also less common such as inside the trunk, ignition switch box or powered wheels. €24,000 for four people (see full list and prices on next page). Circuit driving enthusiasts later 32 years old Assetto Fiorano pack 400 €, A passive suspension with titanium springs and a new aerodynamic configuration (the blade under the front bumper and the fixed rear wing bring up to 360 kg of downforce at 250 km/h).
Removing the controlled damping and carbon fiber cladding (storm doors, engine compartment) reduces overall weight by 12 kg, which is 3 kg more than 3,600 € with Lexan windows. An option reserved for customers of the famous Assetto Fiorano package, such as the two-tone strips (additional €18,800) or the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2R (€3,600), developed specifically for the 296 GTB, the production process of which saves 500. g per tire (ie 2 kg total for unsprung masses). But enough of them…
296 GTB on the way
We spin around the wheel of a classic 296 GTB on winding Andalusian roads before another session on the circuit behind the wheel of Assetto Fiorano. The missile seen earlier transforms into a pleasant coupé that is handy thanks to its light steering, easy to recognize despite its considerable width, and surprisingly comfortable. through piloted suspension. from a pressure on manettino While behind the wheel, the shock absorbers even smooth a new notch for better climbing speed bumps. Raising the muzzle of the car as it approaches seems unnecessary, thanks to a fairly livable ground clearance on a daily basis (an option at €4,080).
The battery-charged, 296 GTB is often in electric mode (up to 135 km/h possible), much to the amazement of passersby, with this faithful red but oddly quiet Ferrari worried about being deaf as it passes. In the car, the rolling noise of the wide tires prevents you from imagining yourself completely in a Renault Zoe, especially when the V6 comes to life without the slightest jolt of operation, but with a big interruption to the soundscape. Sometimes it surprises, always makes you smile.
Further on, the road gets more wind and you switch from docile Hybrid mode (which prefers electric drive to lower consumption) to Performance mode (using the V6’s energy to charge the batteries to always have the power of both engines). The accelerator pedal becomes much more reactive and we find the catapult of our first encounter. Almost. Here it is impossible to fully use the tachometer or to accelerate for more than three seconds without exceeding 200 km/h between two hairpins and four riders.
At low load and unfamiliar with the red zone, we take advantage of the V6’s lovely sound and enough thrust (slight inability) to glimpse the limits of the chassis. Despite. Closing spin, full-boost bump, damp spots in shaded areas, nothing degrades the trajectory of the 296 GTB reaching its far-handling limits, ultimately plotting a progressive understeer, but not an ounce of oversteer despite our best efforts to poke its ass. However, it uses the standard Michelin Pilot Sport 4S with a road profile that is far less efficient than the track-adapted Pilot Sport Cup 2R. So let’s test them…
296 GTB Assetto Fiorano in action
After our breathtaking first stand-in, we hit the road again for a short-circuit session at the wheel of the Assetto Fiorano version. In the program: two-speed laps with the famous Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2R mounted at optimum temperature and pressure. Much like a competition tire, these tires must first be warmed up and then slightly lowered to function properly. While the 13kg difference with the classic 296 GTB isn’t obvious, the uncontrolled shock absorbers are much harder, making the car jump more. And even more impressive.
The supernatural reminders return to my good memory, and in the early mornings, less frightened than I was, I dare to use the manual mode of the robotic dual-clutch transmission. New slap: The quickness of the speed increase is reminiscent of a race car. No, better yet, the 296 violently shifts into high gear even before the steering wheel paddle reaches the end of its journey! In this washing machine where the senses lack direction (non-informative aspect, the brake pedal degrades a bit with regenerative braking), I praise the presence of an instructor who paves the way with a twin car.
The Bugger shifts into a gear where I smash the brake pedal, dove into hairpins at very high speed (no, actually, it’s spinning!) and accelerates again five meters before I dare. All you have to do in CT off mode which should disable traction controlAccelerate fully by just steering the counter steering anti-skid, synonymous with skid, prevents the rear wheels from slipping in any way. The most bluff here comes from the subtlety of the electronic interventions, never intrusive and yet very present… Considering the much more generous commas on the hairpin output when you disable the ESP entirely.
The same explanation about ABS “Evo”, which completely erases the jerks of the brake pedal and makes it possible to maintain directional power even when you hit a hairpin very quickly. With or without driving experience, you therefore feel invincible behind the wheel, like a driving simulator where you would have left the assist enabled. Be careful though, because damage cannot be neutralized…
at 296 GTB
Competition Ferrari 296 GTB
At 830 cumulative horsepower, the Ferrari 296 GTB gets everyone to agree. Brother F8 Tributo (720 hp), Aston Martin V12 Vantage (700 hp), McLaren 765 LT (765 hp), all replicate the cylinders, but can’t keep up with the power of little news force-fed by hybridization. Enough to surpass them in terms of performance without panicking the penalty, as the only other plug-in hybrid sports car in the segment promises: the McLaren Artura. Announced over a year ago and still unmarketed, the 540/570 family replacement also replaces a biturbo V8 with a plug-in hybrid V6 but will be “limited” with 680 hp cumulative power. But as a loyal McLaren, it has a lower dry weight of 88kg and feeling clean driving. Is it enough to block the 296 GTB phenomenon? We hope to answer you one day.
Discover the Ferrari 296 GTB test results, technical sheet and pricing equipment on the next page.