Ferrari 296GTB officially in South Africa
Today, Scuderia Ferrari South Africa takes the covers off the first 296GTB berlinetta to land in the country. Revealed at the Bryanston head office in Johannesburg, the 296GTB was presented with the brand's first V6-hybrid architecture and the numbers are mind-boggling.
610kW is the combined total output from the combination of an all-new 120° V6, married to an electric motor that can deliver up tp 122kW. The power is staggering for the shorter wheelbase model that is intended to welcome in a slightly younger and slightly different market into the inimitable Ferrari brand. Torque? 740Nm.
The Ferrari 296GTB sprints to 100km/h in a quoted 2,9-seconds. 0 - 200km/h takes a mere 7,3-seconds and it will sing all the way to 330km/h.
The hybrid system also allows for electric-only driving for up to a quoted 25km with the electric motor able to eek out 175km/h if you so choose. That supposed dawdle to and from the office or out of the city needn't be anesthetized by any means.
Weighing in at 1,470kg, the 296GTB cuts the Fiorano circuit in 1 minute and 21 seconds. That is faster than a 488 Pista by half a second. According to the presentation and press pack, huge improvements to the car's overall sensor management, inlcuding the e-Diff, TC and CDS systems, means the car's ability to slice through racetracks at remarkable speeds exceeds expectations.
The design is as always, big news. The 296GTB features strong design cues that hark back to the early 60's modernised with Ferrari's latest design language. It's expectedly eye-catching in the flesh with lines etched in tradition and history blended with careful and artful forms that follow their function. The 296GTB features strong aero cues at almost every area with an active rear spoiler that itself can generate up to 350kg of downforce at speeds from 200km/h and over. Below the rear spoiler is a wineglass-shaped finish with strong character and shapes from the 1965 Ferrari 250 Le Mans car, abutted by a striking diffuser pack.
Were you worried about that hybrid combination dulling that signature Ferrari noise? We can't comment on this because we haven't driven the car as yet but it does sound Ferrari-esque on start up. We'll report on this soon enough. We hope.
Locally, Scuderia SA is expecting a fair haul of orders of the 296, essentially the least painful as far as price is concerned. The current base price of the GTB is R6 380 000 so orders are expected to breach the R7-million bracket quite easily. Also available on the GTB is the Asseto Fiorano pack, a customised and more hardcore GTB with more carbon fibre bits, a tweaked racing-enhanced suspension and added livery options.
So...in case you haven't worked it out. 296? The name is derived from the displacement (2.9-litre) and the engine configuration V6.
Order books are open for the new rear-engined berlinetta.