Ferrari has unveiled the first V6-powered model it has developed in nearly half a century, the 2022 Ferrari 296 GTB – and it's a hybrid.
Unveiled online overnight, the 296 GTB is the first car developed by the Ferrari brand to employ a V6 in nearly 50 years – and the first to ever wear the Prancing Horse logo, given the 246 GT of 1974 was badged as a Dino.
Powering the new model is an all-new, 120-degree twin-turbocharged V6 engine, displacing 3.0 litres – though Ferrari brands the 2992cc engine as a 2.9-litre unit, thus its name, with the '6' referring to the cylinder count – developing 487kW, thanks to advanced combustion chamber technology and 'hot vee' turbocharger positioning.
It's paired to a plug-in hybrid system comprising a 7.45kWh lithium-ion battery and a 123kW electric motor, combining for a total of 610kW and 740Nm – 80kW more than the larger F8 Tributo, which is powered by a 530kW/770Nm 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 free of hybrid tech.
The engine is said to be capable of an 8500rpm redline – just shy of the cut-off for the 812 Superfast's naturally-aspirated V12.
Ferrari claims a 2.9-second 0-100km/h sprint time for the 296 GTB – matching the F8 Tributo – and a 7.3-second 0-200km/h time, towards a top speed of over 330km/h.
The 296 GTB's main rival, the McLaren Artura, quotes a 3.0-second 0-100km/h dash, from a 500kW/720Nm 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 hybrid system.
Above: Ferrari 296 GTB, with the Assetto Fiorano package.
Drive is sent exclusively to the rear wheels through the Italian marque's new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (debuted in the full-fat SF90 Stradale). The onboard 7.45kWh battery enables a claimed all-electric range of 25km, at speeds up to 135km/h.
Under the skin, the 296 GTB's wheelbase is 50mm shorter than that of the F8 Tributo, improving agility and reducing weight, with the shorter chassis, lighter six-cylinder engine and heavy hybrid tech combining for a 1470kg dry weight – just 35kg more than the Tributo.
An 'eManettino' steering wheel dial offers four drive modes – eDrive, Hybrid, Performance and Qualify – which vary the amount of electric assistance provided, and whether the engine is switched on or off.
A new anti-lock braking 'evo' system claims to better manage the braking force applied – reducing the 200-0km/h stopping distance by 8.8 per cent – while six-way Dynamic Chassis Sensor and Transition Manager Actuator electronic systems make their debut.
The aforementioned weight figure is achieved with the optional, track-focused Assetto Fiorano package, which adds additional carbon-fibre aerodynamic elements, a tweaked active rear spoiler, lightweight materials, 12kg-lighter interior door panels and a Lexan lightweight rear window.
The 296 GTB draws design parallels with its bigger brother, the SF90 Stradale, combining smooth surfacing with modern LED lighting elements front and rear.
The B-pillar design, rear haunches and 'Kammtail' rear end are said to be inspired by classic Ferrari models including the 1963 250 LM, while the rear spoiler draws inspiration from the LaFerrari, and the wraparound windscreen is similar to the Japan-only J50.
The air intakes have been kept small to improve aesthetics, with the resulting cooling deficit regained by routing air underneath the car.
Aerodynamic highlights include brake cooling ducts beside the headlights, a prominent rear diffuser, and an active rear spoiler that provides 100kg of downforce in standard guise, or 360kg with the Assetto Fiorano package.
Inside, the latest evolution of Ferrari's high-tech cabin design features, with a digital instrument cluster, touch climate and steering wheel controls, a small display for the passenger, and an automatic gear selector inspired by a traditional H-pattern manual shifter.
First European deliveries of the 2022 Ferrari 296 GTB will commence in early 2022, with prices in Italy to start from €269,000 (AU$423,600) in standard form, or €302,000 (AU$475,600) with the Assetto Fiorano pack.
Australian launch timing and pricing have yet to be announced.
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