Ferrari 296 GTS Unveiled
The Prancing Horse lifts the lid on its latest hybrid 6-cylinder.
Mid-rear engine two-seat berlinetta spider’s from Ferrari come under close scrutiny from purists – none more so than the newly unveiled hybrid 296 GTS.
The roof-less version of the V6-electric 296 GTB comes equipped with a power-folding hardtop that retracts in 14 seconds at up to speeds of 45km/h and is the latest in a heady lineage of Ferrari’s to boast the GTS (Gran Turismo Spider) badge.
To achieve a retractable roof, Ferrari has reshaped the decklid to fit the folding mechanism while leaving the engine visible through a glass window.
The Italian marque has also ensured that engineers redesigned the engine bay to fit the foldable top without compromising engine cooling while optimising the exhaust resonator system so the V6 is clearly heard against the wind rushing past your face.
Within the cabin there are subtle design changes in place to ensure a comfortable experience — especially with the top down – is achieved. The trim behind the headrests channels air in the cabin down towards the decklid reducing turbulence while the seat and centre consoles are unique to the GTS.
The GTS sees no mechanical changes, and hardly a drop in performance, from its coupe sibling, It sports an identical 3.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V6 that works with an electric motor linked to a 7.5 kilowatt-hour battery pack to send 610kW and 740Nm of torque to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
On electricity alone, the GTS travels 25km – but that’s not really a stat we worry about. More interestingly the 0-100km/h time comes in at an alleged 2.9 seconds and a 0-200km/h time of 7.6 seconds. Top speed is reached at 330km/h.
Ferrari has kept the car’s rigidity by making modifications to the pillars while the top’s mechanism adds weight: The GTS weighs 1540kg versus the GTB 1466kg. The result is a supercar that leans into a new, engaging set of solutions for driving performance with the short wheelbase, 6-way chassis dynamic sensor and a number of intelligent aero features — such as the active rear spoiler that minimises stopping distances under braking.
As with the coupe, the GTS can be fitted with a track-focused Assetto Fiorano package which lands with adjustable shock absorbers, carbon fibre aero and trim treatments and myriad weight saving techniques alongside race ready Michelin Pilot Sporty Cup 2 R tyres. Sticky stuff.
No pricing information has been revealed, but when comparing to the GTS remember that if the top goes down, the price invariably, goes up.
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