Few car makers can measure up to Ferrari when it comes to driving emotion.

Its latest offering to the motoring world is proof of that. The Ferrari 296 GTS, is the latest evolution of Maranello’s mid-rear-engined two-seater Berlinetta spider. Flanking the 296 GTB, the new model redefines the 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.

This is made possible by what powers the Ferrari 296 GTS. The model utilises a 663 cv 120° V6, coupled with an electric motor capable of delivering a further 122 kW (167 cv). Incidentally, this is the first 6-cylinder engine installed on a road-going spider sporting the Prancing Horse badge.

Combined, the powerplant unleashes its class-leading 830 cv total power output to deliver previously unthinkable performance levels. It also boasts an innovative, exhilarating and unique soundtrack, further enhanced by the fact that it can be relished with the top down.

The powertrain assembly comprises the turbo-charged V6 that feeds power to the rear wheels via the 8-speed DCT and E-Diff.  Additionally, the 296 GTS’s plug-in hybrid (PHEV) system also guarantees it is an incredibly usable car, delivering a 25km range in all-electric eDrive mode.

Innovative Design

The Ferrari 296 GTS bursts into the mid-engined Berlinetta sports car range with several radical and design solutions. It is a car that prides itself 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.

In particular, 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.  This active rear spoiler generates extra downforce and maximises the car’s handling and braking performance at high speeds.

Ferrari 296 GTS design

The spoiler is seamlessly integrated into the bumper design, taking up almost all of the space between the taillights. When maximum downforce is not required, the spoiler is stowed in a compartment in the upper section of the tail.

For those looking for a new dimension in open-top motoring, the Ferrari 296 GTS is sure to satisfy. The model is kitted with a RHT (retractable hard top) guaranteeing 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.

Sophisticated Cockpit

Stepping inside the 296 GTS, it’s clear that the interior has been designed for new generation drivers. Developed around the new concept of an entirely digital interface, the cockpit layout draws on stylistic coherence for its forms. The idea according to Ferrari designers 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 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 buffeting and increase comfort in open-top driving.

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 tunnel incorporates the modern take on the classic gear-shift gate and a compartment for stowing the ignition key with its characteristic Prancing Horse badge.

The tunnel has also been redesigned, so that rather than being open as on the 296 GTB, it has a closing oddments compartment, which further emphasises the continuity between mats and tunnel. For the 296 GTS, the designers created specific diapason-style seats using contrasting grooves which coordinate aesthetically with the edge strip of the instrument cluster.

Assetto Fiorano

The 296 GTS is also made available with the Assetto Fiorano package, which includes lightweight features and aero modifications. Perfect for clients who want to exploit the car’s extreme power and performance to the utmost, the 296 GTS Assetto Fiorano package provides uncompromising 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. The Assetto Fiorano package also includes Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2R high performance tyres which are especially suited to track use because of their grip.

(Images: Ferrari)

This story first appeared on Augustman Singapore

written by.
Richard Augustin
Former chef turned writer; Richard has tip-toed around the publishing industry for two decades. When not busy chasing deadlines, you can still find him experimenting with recipes in the kitchen.

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