Maranello steps up bona fide electrification with yet another plug-in hybrid supercar

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Is it possible that Italians have a problem with round numbers? I’m only asking because Ferrari’s latest hot-rod has just come out and, conjuring up names of bygone eras, it’s called the “296 GTB”. However, according to Ferrari, this jumble of numbers and letters breaks down as follows: it is in fact a Gran Turismo Berlinetta (literally, “small sedan” in Italian) which is powered by a 2.9 liter engine (the first two digits on the nameplate) and six pistons (the last digit). OK fine; you could have had that last piece all by yourself.

The reason I’m asking about the round numbers, however, is that according to Ferrari’s own datasheet for the new plug-in hybrid – yes, yet another electrified Ferrari’s supercar – the new V6 (a new 120-degree case, by the way) displaces 2,992 cubic centimeters. This means, with the simplest calculation, that the 296 is just eight of those cubes at less than 3.0 liters, while still being 92cc of a true 2.9 liters. From all I know about rounding errors, these 2,992 cc should were estimated to be about 3.0 liters.

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So why “296”? Is that an aversion to the “0” in its nameplate (understandable, given all the beating the company has taken on the 308 GTB)? Maybe it’s a phonetic thing, “two-ninety-six” sounding more authoritative in Italian than “three-oh-six”. It doesn’t matter. All I know is that this particular GTB is 92 percent the way to go to be a 306 GTB, but Ferrari officially calls it a 2.9L.

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Not that it doesn’t run like a 3.0L. In fact, according to Ferrari, the 296’s V6 has the highest specific horsepower – essentially the amount of power generated per liter of displacement – of any production car. With two turbos propelling the six cylinders at 654 horsepower, that equates to 218 horsepower / L. For those seeking context, not so long ago anything that produced over 100 hp / L was considered a short-lived “race” engine.

Ferrari’s latest V6 will survive the boost tsunami thanks to this new 120-degree tilt between the cylinders. This not only allows these twin turbos to be housed in the “hot V” of the engine, but it also allows Ferrari to use a shorter crankshaft. This helps to make the engine more compact and more robust, as a shorter crankshaft is a happier crankshaft when the boost is going while in Formula 1. And a final advantage is that the more flared engine is lower which contributes to a lower center of gravity.

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To spur things up even more, Ferrari sandwiches an engine generator unit, Kinetic – known as the MGU-K unit in Formula 1 – an axial-flow, twin-rotor, stator-type electric motor between the engine and The eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, one gearbox the 296 inherits from the SF90 Stradale. Good for 122 kilowatts (163 hp), Ferrari says it can propel the new GTB to 135 kilometers per hour on electrons alone, and that it can do it for up to 25 kilometers using 80-cell lithium of 7.45 kilowatt hours. -ionic battery hidden in the floor.

Of course, when you combine V6 and axial flow engines, the numbers get considerably more impressive. Electricity and fossil fuels then combine for a total of 818 hp, which Ferrari says propels the GTB from 1,470 kilograms to 100 kilometers per hour in 2.9 seconds; 200 km / h in just 4.4 more (7.3 s); all on the way to a top speed of over 330 km / h. I think I love this electrified future.

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This time makes the Ferrari 296 GTB faster than the 488 Pista, 812 Superfast and a few seconds faster than the beloved 458

One final performance measure could prove to be the 296’s most impressive, with Ferrari claiming its new berlinetta circled Fiorano in 1 minute 21. No, Ferrari’s own test track may not be as famous as the Nurgburgring in Germany. And, of course, Maranello doesn’t allow anyone else to test there, so cross-brand comparisons are impossible. Nonetheless, 1 minute and 21 seconds is faster than the 488 Pista, 812 Superfast, and miles – OK, seconds – faster than the beloved 458. In fact, the only Ferraris with faster lap times are the LaFerrari and the above – similarly hybridized – SF90 Stradale.

It’s with the eManettino in a new mode called “Qualify,” which Ferrari says dumps juice from the battery as quickly as possible to the electric motor, the lineup is doomed. Others include Performance (which has the ICE always on and out of the box); Hybrid (which has the ICE always at hand, but do not Still running); and, of course, eDrive, which uses pure battery power.

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Besides sheer power, the other thing that makes the 296 so fast is the aerodynamics. Like the rest of the supercar segment, the new GTB sports very advanced aerodynamics. Using a LaFerrari-type active rear spoiler, for example, it can produce 360 ​​kilograms of downforce at 250 km / h. And as with all aerodynamic upgrades, it’s the details that count. To harness all the air hitting its side splitter, the bumper in front of the wheel is complemented by a vertical end plate, creating a local recompression zone that increases downforce at the front so that there is has a balance of aerodynamic forces on the front and rear wheels. These are the lengths required if you want to beat a V12 powered Enzo around 1.5 seconds Fiorano.

Those looking to drive the new 296 GTB, Europeans will have access to the new Ferrari PHEV in the first quarter of 2022. As for the price, the only price we have is the MSRP for Italy, which is 269,000 euros. It’s about $ 395,000. If you have 400 fat or more burning a whole in your wallet, I suggest you queue up soon.

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