7 luglio 2022
by Umberto Zapelloni

Where the heart takes you, Ferrari 296 GTB 


Cars. Probably the most democratic on the market today. Or at least, the thrills and smiles are rewarded indiscriminately. Everyone who climbs out of the new berlinetta, after a great drive along the winding roads in Andalusia or after the three fast laps on the Monteblanco track, has the same reaction: A big smile. Whether it's a Ferrari test driver accustomed to riding the Prancing Horse, or former driver Marc Gené who today assists the most demanding customers, or a young journalist working hard to make a good impression on the track or a colleague a bit more advanced in age whose only thought is to enjoy the tour with the sound of a Ferrari in his ears. The 296 GTB is the latest evolution of the mid-rear-engined Ferrari sports berlinetta, the first fitted with a V6 engine, the first rear-wheel drive plug-in hybrid, capable of delivering a total of 830 horsepower whilst also with a range of 15.5 miles in electric mode. It's a new Ferrari for a new Ferrari driver. It is not intended to replace any of the cars currently in the Ferrari range.

“The basic idea behind the concept of the 296 GTB is the pursuit of purity, of maximum simplicity of form, but obviously also of great personality. The combination of formal clean lines and strong personality, the basis of our style research, led us to a shape that clearly conveys the essence of this project: an extremely compact car, with a short wheelbase, therefore with agile and reduced proportions for a very sporty body,” explains the head of style Flavio Manzoni. In the design of the 296 GTB, Flavio was also inspired by the Ferrari history, recalling the 250 LM especially in the treatment of the rear fenders and the Flying Bridge that characterizes the cabin of the car. The 296 GTB is a Ferrari you can be on first-name terms with even if you’re not called Leclerc. A Ferrari that makes it easy for you even when you are on the track trying to keep up with Raffaele De Simone, the leading Maranello test driver who speaks like a text book: “The 296 GTB is an easy car to drive to the limit: everything stems from objective, measured analysis correlated to the response to commands. Steering wheel, steering, gearbox, accelerator and brake are divided into response mode, magnitude and response time. This allows us to map the areas of 'fun to drive' and use them as a target setting in the development stages.” “Fun to drive” is the concept that best describes this Ferrari.

“When we designed the car, we thought of a customer who loves to have fun driving, who is looking for incredible performance in complete safety with an engine that is always responsive, rewarded with feelings never experienced before,” explains Emanuele Carando, product marketing director. He too smiles  with satisfaction after completing a lap next to the test driver. It is a Ferrari that starts silently and then lets you hear the sound of its V6 turbo engine with a completely innovative architecture with 6 cylinders arranged in a V and a 120 degree angle that allows the turbo compressors to be housed in the center of the V. Dino aside, there had never been a road Ferrari with a V6. I cannot wait to hear the sound. And it doesn’t disappoint; the V6 goes straight to the heart. “When I tried the new engine for the first time,” says Raffaele De Simone, “I realized that it was a true Ferrari engine… the clean exhaust sound, the way it was tuned: an incredible sound! I realized then that the soul of the car—because fundamentally, the soul of our cars is and remains the engine—was special. There are identities, a veritable experience that starts from the depth of the low revs and moves up to really touch the orders of the 12 cylinders, loud and shrill like an never-ending ramp.”

On the road as well as on the track, this is the feeling. You feel the engine and then you get that feeling, and the performance, given that the 830 horsepower takes you from 0 to 100 in 2.9 seconds and from 0 to 200 in 7.3 seconds.

There had never been a road Ferrari with a V6. I cannot wait to hear the sound. And it doesn’t disappoint; the V6 goes straight to the heart.

The price is EUR 269,000, adding another 33,000 for the even sportier Assetto Fiorano version. Not a car for everyone. But anyone who has the pleasure of trying it will climb out with a smile

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