The 296 GTS is the latest evolution of Maranello’s mid-rear-engined two-seater berlinetta spider. 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 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 Ferrari 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 Ferrari 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. This impressive performance was achieved by seamlessly optimising the car’s volumes. The result is a car with an extremely clean, elegant design in which all the performance-oriented elements meld effortlessly with the styling, underscoring the inextricable marriage of technology and aesthetics that is the signature of all Ferraris. The aero development work done on the 296 GTS means that even in low-drag configuration the car can deliver more downforce than previous applications. In high-downforce configuration, there is an additional 100 kg in downforce thanks to the active spoiler.
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. 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.
The 296 GTS is the first Ferrari road-going spider to sport a V6 turbo with a vee with an angle of 120° between the cylinder banks, coupled with a plug-in electric motor. Presented for the first time in 2021 on the 296 GTB, the V6 has its 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 Ferrari V6 set a new specific power output record for a production car of 221 cv/l. The powertrain assembly comprises the turbo-charged V6 that feeds power to the rear wheels via 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. As the V6 turbo is integrated with an electric motor at the rear, the 296 GTS’s combined maximum power output is 830 cv, putting it at the top of the rear-wheel-drive spider segment. The hybrid element not only makes the car extremely versatile in terms of day-to-day driving with a full-electric mode range of 25 km, but also benefits the driving experience by providing instant and consistent response at all engine speeds.
Thanks to its 663 cv and 221 cv/l, the 296 GTS’s ICE sets the new specific power output record for a serie-production road-going spider. Central to achieving this result was the introduction of the 120° vee configuration with equally-spaced firings as well as the positioning of the turbos inside the vee, which produces a much more compact engine and optimally distributed masses. To obtain this specific power output, the pressure in the combustion chamber had to be pushed to new heights. Boosting the pressure in the chamber demanded exceptional development from both a thermal-fluid-dynamic and structural point of view without compromising on engine weight and reliability. To that end, Ferrari poured all of its significant expertise in alloys, dimensioning and components into engineering the aluminium engine block and cylinder heads. Both components were designed specifically for the V6 architecture. The architecture provides the ideal combustion, but was also perfected in terms of component integration: in fact both the intake plenums and the engine supports are integrated on the intake sides of the cylinder heads. The engine is thus lighter and more compact because of the elimination of the plenums and additional supports, while the internal fluid-dynamics benefit from the reduction in volume, boosting intake efficiency.
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. The MGU-K is a dual-rotor single-stator axial flux motor. Its compact size and its structure allowed the length of the powertrain to be reduced which, in the final analysis, helped shorten the 296 GTS’s wheelbase. The electric motor charges the high voltage battery, turns on the ICE, supplies it with additional torque and power (up to 167 cv) and allows the car to be driven in all-electric eDrive mode. The MGU-K’s improved design allows it to reach maximum torque of 315 Nm, around 20% more than previous applications. Aside from the V6 turbo and the 8-speed DCT already adopted on the SF90 Stradale, Ferrari Roma, Portofino M, the SF90 Spider and the 296 GTB, 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 GTS’s cockpit was developed around the new concept of an entirely digital interface. This interior layout draws on the latter’s stylistic coherence for its forms. While with the SF90 Stradale the designers wanted to highlight the presence of the advanced technology and underscore a clear break with the past, in the case of the 296 GTS, the idea was to clothe that technology to sophisticated effect. The result is a pure, minimalistic connotation characterised by a powerful elegance that, on an aesthetic level, perfectly mirrors the design of the exterior. The sculptural door panel is a seamless continuation of the dashboard in terms of both materials and colour. On the central medallion, the styling cue is a deep lozenge-shaped scoop, a three-dimensional element. This type of architecture makes the entire door panel look extremely light and integrates the theme that connects it to the rear trim. The Ferrari 296 GTS’s cabin raises the concept of the formal purity of the functional elements to new heights. From a formal perspective, when the engine is off, the onboard instruments go black, underscoring the minimalist look of the cabin. Exclusive Italian leather trim to the seats and trim is further enhanced by the noble technical materials used on the functional components. Aerodynamic flaps have been integrated into the rear trim structure to reduce buffetting and increase comfort in open-top driving.
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