The new Ferrari 296 GTB offers nothing less than an electrifying experience.
So, what could be better than test driving the new Ferrari 296 GTB? Test driving the new Ferrari 296 GTB in Sevilla Spain of course! This month Hadag magazine travelled to the picturesque region of Sevilla in the south of Spain to put the latest creation from Ferrari through its paces. Our goal: to see how well this hybrid luxury sports car handled on both the winding roads of the Sierra Norte de Sevilla mountain range, as well as on the modern Circuito Monteblanco racetrack in La Palma del Condado, a town in the beautiful province of Huelva.
After a comfortable flight, we finally touched down in Sevilla, a city located on the east bank of the River Guadalquivir, in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula. After a quick hotel check in, we headed straight for the racetrack to pick up our GTB, excited at the prospect of getting our hands on a premium machine that up until now, we had only admired in pictures.
Arriving at Circuito Monteblanco, we were warmly greeted by everyone. With far too many impressive aspects to talk about, we will have to stick to the highlights and hope we do this outstanding sports car justice.
Looking at the 296’s unique overall design, we could instantly see the classic Berlinetta fastback configuration has been relinquished in favour of designing a cabin that is the focal point of the car’s composition. The aesthetically pleasing combination of a visorstyled windscreen, well-muscled wings, robust buttresses and new vertical screen, combined with a short wheelbase, underscore the visually imposing cabin and add greatly to the aerodynamic nature of the vehicle. From every angle the clean architecture emphasises the sporty character of this two-door Ferrari.
At the tapered frontend, the headlight design has been inspired by the teardrop-shaped headlights of times past, whilst the centre of the single-grille has been reduced in height, hinting at the presence of two powerful radiators. A Formula 1-styled compact suspended wing sitting under the grille, adds yet another novel aerodynamic attribute to this already uber streamlined vehicle.
At the sides, a clearly defined crease line flows along the doors and blends with the large, cylindrical air intakes, whilst new alloy wheels with twin-spoke design added to our aching desire to get this car out onto the tarmac. Michelin have been selected by Ferrari as the official tire supplier for the new 296 GTB, providing both the Michelin Pilot 4S K1 tires for road driving, as well as the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2R K2 for more aggressive trackbased racing.
From every angle the clean architecture emphasises the sporty character of this two-door Ferrari.
At the back, the flawless design of the rear wing guarantees sufficient airflow to the spoiler, ensuring optimum aerodynamic performance. The tail end exhibits a distinguished flying buttress that incorporates the engine bay cover. This cover showcases a distinctive, three-dimensional glass surface, revealing the impressive powertrain setup beneath. Other notable rear features include the Kamm tail, retracting spoiler, a central wing stowed in the bodywork between the taillights, and a modern, single central exhaust pipe. Lookswise, this Ferrari is simply flawless.
Drawing inspiration from the SF90 Stradale, the cockpit of the 296 GTB focuses on the presence of advanced technology, housing an entirely digital interface.
From our vantage point of the comfortable, supportive and well positioned, diapason-style sports seats, the cabin, and indeed the rest of the vehicle, has been kitted out using only the very finest of materials. From the Italian leather seats to all the premium trimmings, details and finishes, we could not spot one design choice that looked anything less than exclusive. Perhaps the most impressive element of this setup is the modern, ergonomic and completely digital interface.
Once the ‘Start’ button is pressed, all the components light up, revealing the 296 GTB’s exceptional setup. The main instrument cluster has been sunk into the dashboard trim and boasts a clean and taut surface. Just below, sits the Ferrari sports steering wheel that feels perfect in hand. Two side satellites, each with its own capacitive touch area, and an air vent complete the driver’s immediate picture.
The dashboard blends effortlessly with the modelled door panels in terms of both colours and materials, which in turn seamlessly integrate with the rear trim. Focusing on the tunnel, a compartment for stowing the ignition key, complete with the Ferrari emblem, has been included, along with the SF90 Stradale-inspired contemporary take on the classic gear-shift gate. Although we could have spent all day appreciating every detail of this resplendent vehicle, we had a three-hour mountain trail to conquer and we were more than excited to take it on.
The new 296 GTB is the first road car designed by Ferrari to house a V6 turbo, with a vee sporting an angle of 120° between the cylinder bank, coupled with a plug-in electric motor. This combination enables the vehicle to generate a maximum power output of 830cv, making it the most powerful rear-wheel-drive sports car on the market.
This setup also makes the 296 a practical dayto-day vehicle with its full-electric mode range of 25km. Combined with an eight-speed DCT, this Ferrari produces 740Nm of torque at 6,250 rpm. This allows the 296 GTB to surge from 0-100km/h in a mere 2.9 seconds, 0-200km/h in 7.3 seconds and to reach a top speed of 330km/h. Thanks to its superb braking system, it can reduce its speed from 200-0km/h in just 107 metres.
Making our way north of the Seville province to the Sierra Norte de Sevilla mountain range in the UNESCO Global Geopark, we found ourselves smiling like Cheshire Cats as the mountain air tugged at our sleeves. Manoeuvring through this beautiful range we experienced much of what the 296 GTB has to offer. Comfortability wise, you can’t experience much better than this. The car has such great suspension, rides so smoothly, is so responsive and handles the bends so well, it almost lulls you into a subconscious autopilot.
Thanks to the modern Head Up Display, excellent infotainment system, and steering wheel-based controls, you can always keep your eyes on the road ahead and we appreciated every aspect of the generous scenery. The GPS communicates efficiently and updates instantly, always ensuring you know where to go and how to get there. For three hours we meandered through the passes, truly grateful we have experiences like these for a living.
On the flight back home, we took stock of all we had experienced in beautiful Sevilla. From the mountains, the track, the people and the food to one of the finest sports cars we have ever had the privilege of test driving. There is no doubt this is an experience we would choose to have again in a heartbeat.