First look at the new Ferrari 296 GTB in South Africa – Cool facts and photos – TopAuto
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First look at the new Ferrari 296 GTB in South Africa – Cool facts and photos

Ferrari has launched the 296 GTB hybrid V6 supercar in South Africa, a vehicle that is kicking off a new segment for the Italian marque.

This is because the 296 GTB isn’t replacing anything in the existing model line-up, and it boasts an entirely new powerplant never before used in a Ferrari.

There might previously have been V6 Ferrari cars, but the company said the 296 is the first Ferrari road car that features a V6 motor that was built from the ground up specifically for it.

We attended the local reveal to find out more about the new supercar.

Fun to drive

Ferrari said the 296 GTB was designed in line with the concept of being “fun to drive”.

It’s “usable in all situations” thanks to a hybrid powertrain that allows full electric drive up to 25km at 135km/h. You then flick the manettino dial on the steering wheel to one of three other drive modes and the 3.0-litre, turbocharged, 120-degree, V6 unit immediately kicks in to generate a maximum of 610kW and 740Nm.

The Ferrari spokesperson said this experience of switching drive modes and instantly getting an intense escalation of power is a feeling of euphoria that is unmatched.

The three main goals the manufacturer said it wanted to achieve with the driving sensation of the 296 were to offer “exhilarating acceleration, a go-kart feeling, and captivating engine sound.”

A short wheelbase relative to other Ferrari cars lends it the nimble go-kart feeling, and the V6’s 8,500rpm redline provides the captivating engine sound they were after – not that far off the sounds of the V12, said the spokesperson.

As the 296 achieves a 0-100km/h time of 2.9 seconds and a top speed of over 330km/h, we are inclined to believe that it also offers exhilarating acceleration.

In order to attain the mindboggling stats the GTB is capable of, it features rather clever systems.

As a world-first in a production car, said Ferrari, it comes with a six-way Chassis Dynamic Sensor that not only measures forces on the X, Y, and Z axes, but also the roll, yaw, and pitch to get better reaction times from all the on-board electronics.

Thanks to a turbo fitted above the engine block in a “hot-V” configuration, the powertrain is also mounted much lower than in most other Ferraris, and due to this the centre of gravity in the 296 is 10mm lower than in the F8 – and roughly in line with the top of the wheels, said the Ferrari spokesperson.

The design then takes inspiration from the 1963 Ferrari 250 Le Mans, which can be seen in the high rear haunches and tapered backside that ends in a single, broad exhaust outlet.

Additionally, new air tunnels integrated into the headlights improve brake cooling and provide specific underbody aerodynamics – which in turn allowed for the omission of any active aero components at the front of the vehicle.

A unique front splitter now creates downforce and sucks the front of the car towards the road, while the curvy doors better channel cold air into huge vents.

Furthermore, the “virtual fairing” behind the roof of this Ferrari guides airflow over the engine bay extremely efficiently – and as a result, the designers were able to create an entirely new “3D-effect” engine cover as there is no air vortex behind the rear window to account for.

296 GTB in South Africa

The Ferrari 296 GTB is now officially on sale in South Africa at a starting price of R6,380,200.

For owners who want the ultimate in what the range has to offer, it is available with the Assetto Fiorano package, too, which brings loads of weight-saving carbon and improved aerodynamics.

The Ferrari spokesperson said there were a few skeptics that didn’t much like the fact that the 296 GTB is an electrified V6.

However, he said after a test drive their minds changed immediately, and there has already been strong interest in the supercar from local customers.

Photos of the Ferrari 296 GTB at the South African launch are below. Click on an image to enlarge it.

Ferrari 296 GTB

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