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New Ferrari 296 GTB | evo REVIEW

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Maranello’s first V6-powered road car looks to redefine the £200,000 supercar with hypercar power and a plug-in hybrid powertrain. We get behind the wheel to find out if its numbers translate to driving thrills.

Um this is the ferrari 296 gtb a simple traditional very ferrari name for what is a thoroughly modern and advanced kind of supercar first things first its staggering power figure an incredible 830 horsepower the 296 gtb combines a ferocious all-new three liter twin turbo v6 that makes a huge 663 horsepower on its own with an electric motor making up the rest

It’s a plug-in hybrid with an ev-only range of around 15 miles but unlike the sf-90 it’s rear-wheel drive only weight is quoted as 1470 kilograms but remember that’s a dry figure and with all the lightweight options looks sure they’re subjective but for what it’s worth i happen to think it’s gorgeous when you see it in the metal that bodies aluminium once again but

Ferrari has shortened the wheelbase by 50 millimeters compared to the old v8s in pursuit of a more agile chassis ferrari says that most of all the 296 is all about being fun to drive we’ve come to southern spain to have our first drive of the car and find out so let’s get straight into it how fast well i gotta be honest with you it is shockingly fast i mean it’s

The sort of rearrange your internal organs fast it’s fierce i mean it’s really really really fierce but part of what makes it so fast is the hybrid system fills in the gap so it doesn’t really feel like it has any turbo lag it has an amazing throttle response and it also has this this low and mid-range urge which is totally addictive we’re on some really twisty

Mountain roads now and this thing is so much fun it’s uh it’s a very delicate car it’s slightly surprising because remember it’s not light it’s got that classic ferrari light very quick steering rack so you can’t put too much of an input in you’ll just make the car nervous and actually sort of antagonize the car if you like but once you’re on its wavelength

I’m as you’re speaking 296 language then you really can get a great feeling for what it’s doing it just flows down the road it rides so well and you’re just making these little adjustments but the beautiful thing about what ferrari have managed is that it doesn’t feel nervous so it’s really agile but there’s never a point where you’re going oh god that’s a bit

Long that’s a bit more i’m not sure about that not at all and part of not feeling nervous is that pretty quickly you realize that you can take some liberties with it you can work up to the limit and yeah it’s an 830 horsepower ferrari but as ludicrous as this sounds and i’m saying these words and thinking this sounds crazy but it’s not actually that scary

Because you soon realize it’s got such a fabulous balance now maybe that’s because the masses are contained so low remember that little v6 on the floor i’m sure that makes a difference as well but it really feels like when you turn it feels like the car pivots beneath you and you know exactly what it’s doing look here’s a corner every time i turn it’s like

The car just does that slightly sits down on that rear haunch and it’s ready to go what do you want to do it says what do you want to do you want to push a bit harder more throttle a little bit more throttle build up to the limit start to understeer over so slightly if it’s a really tight corner you might start to feel that and it’ll let you know or if you’re

More aggressive with the throttle it’s at that stage where it’s kind of saying yep okay i’ll start to step out at the rear i mean that’s astonishing to be kind of that clear and friendly with this level of performance something else that ferrari have got really right is the brake pedal because the pedal is nice and firm but you can really get a good feeling an

Ease of modulation that means you can judge your braking i’ve not thought about it once and i always think that’s the acid test right if you don’t if it doesn’t come into your mind then clearly it’s been set right i think this car sounds really good of course it does rev high limits at eight and a half thousand rpm which for turbo engine is really good going um so

You’ve got that real range it never sounds coarse it never sounds gritty it never sounds harsh it’s got a lovely growl low down pretty sonorous at higher revs as well but for me the best bit is the turbo noises so if i let it build up some boost pressure here we go a bit of a gradient let’s try fourth gear well i think that’s more than enough of my ludacris

Turbo impressions and it’s time now to head to the monte blanco circuit for this ferrari provides cars equipped with the fiorano pack which saves up to 15 kilos and features even more trick multimatic dampers amongst some other stuff plus they were also fitted with the optional michelin cup 2r tyres unlike the 4s michelins of our road car just a handful of laps

Is enough to confirm that a 296 has the ability to shrink alarmingly just about any straight and b that it’s a proper live wire and the more you peel back the electronic systems the more it’s keen to rotate into a corner to oversteer or do pretty much anything else you might want it to do if you so command it it requires a smooth precise driving style let’s

Get some lights on the steering wheel flashing that’s over 217 up to 280. being a good boy keeping that distance apparently they’ve already lost a lot of windscreens we don’t want to add to the bill just wants to turn so slightly overcooked it round that one keep my on the line get it stopped for that one what did i say go get higher this lap yep there’s

That torque it’s just there isn’t it little devil on your shoulder ah look at the way you can turn it in on the brakes as well fantastic rotation there great stability of the braking no problems there but it’s turned in nice and he’s flashing his hazards so i think that is game over that was with ct officer shots of those laps to feel how these new systems

Are really working if you go to esc off it’s just you and the abs but uh ferrari have put an awful lot of work into these new systems and you can really feel how they give you so much leeway with the car to do things to get it moving around without giving you that nannying restraint that systems used to do oh aircon appears to be off it’s pretty pretty warm

In here now but that’s really impressive what then to make of the 296 gtb overall comfortable reasonably practical and silent running one moment then an absolute animal of the machine the next of almost overwhelming power which regardless of its weight feels amazingly nimble playful and surprisingly exploitable too based on this first acquaintance ferrari has

Created something very special indeed you

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New Ferrari 296 GTB | evo REVIEW By EVO