It might sound shocking that the newest mid-engine Ferrari is a V-6 hybrid, but one long press on the accelerator will make anyone a believer. We had another opportunity to visit Italy and drive the Ferrari 296GTB on the automaker's test circuit and the nearby ultratight and bumpy roads. As shown in the video, the GTB is everything a Ferrari should be.
After immediately getting stuck behind traffic, C/D testing director Dave VanderWerp uses that time to explain the technical details of the new engine. Ferrari says the GTB is its first roadgoing vehicle with a V-6, as the brand still doesn't consider the 246GT Dino a real Ferrari.
The hybrid consists of a 164-hp electric motor that sits between the V-6 and the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. The twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 makes 654 horsepower, and Ferrari says the powertrain produces 819 horsepower combined. If you're wondering why there's one additional horsepower in the combined figure, remember the concept of rounding.
The 6.0-kWh battery provides an estimated 10 miles of all electric driving range. To Ferrari's credit, the EV driving mode keeps the engine off even when you stomp on the accelerator pedal. On the other hand, you'd have to go far back in history to find a slower Ferrari than the GTB in its EV mode.
Once traffic clears, Dave explores the upper ranges of the powerband and experiences launch control. We also touch briefly on the track-oriented Assetto Fiorano package and its grippy Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires.
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