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Ferrari 296 GTB

A SPARK OF GREATNESS (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

Ferrari's 296 GTB is the brand's first Plug-in Hybrid. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 22

Ferrari's 296 GTB shows that Maranello can incorporate Plug-in Hybrid technology into a supercar without compromising its character. It's a mighty achievement.

Backgroundword count: 112

Did you ever think you'd see a Ferrari Plug-in Hybrid? If you did, then you might expect such a thing to appear on a more sensibly-orientated model - the brand's Purosangue SUV perhaps? But no, here's a PHEV powerplant plumbed into a proper out-and-out Ferrari sports car, the 296 GTB. And generating 819bhp - yes you read that figure right. So much is new here - from a car of extremes. Silent in e-Drive; shriekingly voluble when the V6 is revved to 8,500rpm. Yes, a V6 Ferrari. Something else that's unique (as long as you discount the old 246 GT, which never actually wore a Ferrari badge). Let's take a closer look.

Driving Experienceword count: 226

A V6 Ferrari sounds like a contradiction in terms but this 3.0-litre Hybrid powerplant is as charismatic-sounding as any Maranello V8 or V12. It's twinned to an 8-speed dual clutch gearbox and an electric motor / generator powered by a 7.45kWh battery. That e-motor adds weight - but it also adds 165bhp, which when combined with the engine's 654bhp means a total system output up at 819bhp. Hence the mere 2.9s needed to get to 62mph en route to a maximum of 205mph. At one extreme, the V6 will spin to a shrill 8,500rpm. At the other, it doesn't have to be heard at all if you select 'e-Drive' and perambulate along on battery power for up to 15.5 miles at a maximum of 84mph. The more focused driving modes, marshalled by Ferrari's usual e-mannetino switchgear, are 'Hybrid', 'Performance', 'Qualifying' and 'Race'. A wide portfolio of systems help you get the torque to the tarmac. A 6w-CDS six-axis sensor senses grip levels and driver preferences, better informing the Side Slip Control and the active e-differential to maximise cornering speeds. And an 'ABS-evo' set-up works with the brake-by-wire system to shorten braking distances. Plus active aerodynamics technology reduces drag while increasing downforce - there's over 360kg of that at 155mph, up 200kg of that generated by a rear wing that deploys at the back of the car.

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£241,560.00 (At 13 Feb 2023)

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Category: Sporting Cars

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This is an excerpt from our full review.
To access the full content library please contact us on 0330 0020 227 or click here

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