Introducing the 2022 Ferrari 296, a V6 Hybrid Wherein Ferrari shows their engineering prowess

Wallace Wyss

Volume 46 Issue 15

Jul 17, 2021

The new 296 GTB is reviewed by Wallace Wyss. Specifications and photos.

    It’s here--the long awaited new Dino, only it’s not called the Dino (after Enzo’s son, who was an engineer at his father’s factory). Instead it has the sheerly technical name: 296 GTB.


    You might well ask, but wasn’t the F8 Tributo with  its 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8 boasting 710 horsepower filling the role of a “junior” Ferrari?


    Yes, but the world has changed. Now a car company that wants to stay alive had better be electric and  being a hybrid, is half way there.


    This is the first mid-engine V6 from Ferrari since the Dino of the 1960s; 47 years ago.


    Its V6 steps into the fray with two weapons, twin turbochargers resting in the V of its aluminum alloy block. The lusty engine will wind as high as 8,500 rpm, and is rated as high as 654 horsepower, which makes it a middleweight in punching power compared to its V6-powered competitors like the 2022 Maserati MC20 and 2022 McLaren Artura.


    But turbos are old hat; this car’s secret weapon is an electric motor, powered by a sub-floor mounted 7.45-kWh battery. This motor adds 164 horsepower and 232 foot-pounds of torque into the eight-speed, dual-clutch transmission, for a combined output of 819 horses and 546 foot-pounds. Which makes it about as fast as any top of the line supercar short of Bugatti.


    The zero to 60 mph figure has been quoted at 2.9 seconds, and a top speed at 204 mph.


    There is an  8-speed DCT and E-Diff, and the MGU-K located between the engine and the gearbox. A clutch is set between the ICE and the electric motor to decouple them once you select electric-only eDrive mode.


    What’s the electric only range? A mere 15.5 miles on electric power alone. Nothing compared to a Tesla, which can go over 300 miles on full charge but that’s a pure electric. The key about this car is that the electric motor works in support of the V6.


    You would think having two less cylinders would make it a lighter car but no, the 296 GTB actually weighs 77 pounds more than the F8 Tributo, with a dry weight of 3,241 pounds.


    Conversely though, at least the 296 GTB is more compact than the F8, roughly 2 inches shorter in both body and wheelbase, and the engine is mounted almost two inches lower in an aluminum frame.


        Ferrari 296 Design Critique:


    Ferrari went conservative on this “small” Ferrari. Here’s my take from each angle.


    FRONT: Looks very wide on propose. No hint of chrome. Surprisingly, no hood vents of any kind to offer character, a la GTC/4 and no creases (take that--Corvette stylists!). Headlights have a half lidded “mystery” look, but fortunately don’t try too hard to attract attention. They resisted the temptation to glitz up the grille mesh like the Lexus LC500.

 


    REAR: Taillights still look like some forgotten Chevy, but what is unusual is how high the exhaust pipes are--you wonder if all countries will approve this more in-your-face height? The rear deck center is see-through; Ferrari knows having the engine exposed can be a great selling point to the mechanically minded. Rear undertray panels look added-on-later by being gloss black and they don’t cling to the body making it look like they are about to fall off. And, what are the vents for down there? There is an active rear spoiler.

 


    SIDE: Tame, and soft compared to many past Ferraris. I think it’s a move away from sharp edged lines because those “date” a car quickly. A nod to their rich racing history is the big side scoop resembling the 1964  250 LM. Too bad outside rear view mirrors can’t be done away with (replaced by TV cameras) because they really intrude on the beauty of the flowing shape of the side view. There’s a curve to the back that still allows the rear taillights to be glimpsed from the side because that removes an opportunity to return to the 250 LM rear half side view. (The bulge over the tires spoils this  a bit but it’s still a nostalgic bid).

 


    ACTIVE REAR SPOILER: There is a built-in horizontal rear spoiler to reduce drag. The factory claims even in low-drag configuration, the car can deliver more downforce than previous Ferraris.


    You can pay to add extra downforce to achieve a maximum of 360 kg at 250 km/h in high-downforce configuration, if you order the Assetto Fiorano package. The optional package’s black spoilers, about 6” tall, rise out of the rear bumper.

 


    OVERALL: This is a smart move for Ferrari, going  conservative like the front-engined Roma, as too many of their previous mid-engine models had design cues (scoops, vents, etc.) which added that look-of-the-moment. Those date the design too quickly (anybody remember the strakes on the side of the Testarossa? Even a Pininfarina family member admitted to me they shouldn’t have gone there).


    This design, by being another in their hybrid future, represents a conservative direction in mid-engines, but still manages to have some good nostalgic design cues. I can’t tell if it will have a removable roof in the future but cutlines hint it will.


    One more example of the conservative design is the rear spoiler not deploying until its needed. Those old spoilers on stilts look too “boy racer” for some, so its good to hide these weapons until you need them.


    The Assetto Fiorano package includes a black rear spoiler that rises out of the rear bumper, straight up instantaneously when needed to give a maximum of 360 kg at 250 km/h in high-downforce configuration.


    The double-wishbone suspension magnetic shocks are traded for Multimatic units.


    The Assetto Fiorano package also adds carbon fiber aero components, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires, and a composite rear window, which reduces the overall weight by 26 pounds. You can also reduce the weight by ordering carbon fiber wheels.


    Electronic progress includes the Transition Manager Actuator (TMA) and the 6-way Chassis Dynamic Sensor (6w-CDS) – a world first for the automotive sector.


    There are also new functions that can be performed, such as the ABS evo controller, which uses the data gathered by the 6w-CDS, and the grip estimation integrated with the EPS.


    I wish I could report that the 296 GTB will be lower in price than the existing mid-engined Ferraris as was the case when the original mid-engine Dino was about two-thirds the price of the V-12 Daytona. But one price I read, $320,000. looks like Ferrari is trying to recover their development cost.


    In sum, Ferrari never wants to have a recurrence of that situation in 1966 when upstart rival Lamborghini brought out the Miura, a mid-engine V12, making Ferrari’s  front-engine cars look old. This time as the competition rolls out hybrids, so will Ferrari.

 


 

            296 GTB - Technical specifications

 


        POWERTRAIN


Type    V6 – 120° – Turbo


Overall displacement    2992 cm3


Bore and stroke    88 mm x 82 mm


Max. power output ICE*    663 cv


Max. power output hybrid system**    610 kW (830 cv) at 8000 rpm


Max. torque    740 Nm at 6250 rpm


Max. revs    8500 rpm


Compression ratio    9.4:1


High voltage battery capacity    7.45 kWh

 


        DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHTS


Length    4565 mm


Width    1958 mm


Height    1187 mm


Wheelbase    2600 mm


Front track    1665 mm


Rear track    1632 mm


Dry weight***    1470 kg


Dry weight/power ratio    1.77 kg/cv


Weight distribution    40.5 % ant. / 59.5 % rear


Fuel tanks capacity    65 litres

 


        TIRES AND WHEELS


Front    245/35 ZR 20 J9.0


Rear    305/35 ZR 20 J11.0

 


        BRAKES


Front    398 x 223 x 38 mm


Rear    360 x 233 x 32 mm

 


        TRANSMISSION AND GEARBOX


8-speed F1 DCT

 


        ELECTRONIC CONTROLS


eSSC: eTC, eDiff, SCM, FDE2.0, EPS, ABS Evo, 6w-CDS; high-performance ABS/EBD with energy recovery

 


        PERFORMANCE


Max. speed    > 330 km/h


0-100 km/h    2.9 s


0-200 km/h    7.3 s


200-0 km/h    107 m


Fiorano lap time    1’ 21”

 


    FUEL CONSUMPTION AND CO2 EMISSIONS


Under homologation    
 


 

THE AUTHOR /ARTIST Wallace Wyss is the author of three Ferrari books plus the novel Ferrari Hunters. As  a fine artist, he will be displaying his art (such as his first portrait of the new Ferrari) at Concorso Italiano.  Info about his oil paintings  can be obtained by writing:  
malibucarart@gmail.com.