Ferrari 296 GTB review: Electrifying

Leow Ju Len

By no means is the cabin as well-insulated from road and wind noise as your average Tesla, so even in eDrive the 296 GTB isn’t a silent experience, but it’s surprisingly calming to tool around in a super coupe without the engine running.

The acceleration is languid, so you don’t feel as if you’re sitting on top of a missile about to be launched, and there’s no noise so you don’t feel as if you’re inviting half the world to gawk at you. In this, picking your nose while wafting through slow traffic would have a reasonable chance of going unwitnessed.

The experience was a nice balm anyway, because my first hour in the Ferrari was a matter of white knuckles and solidly clenched buttocks.

Narrow, greasy roads plus long sections of motorway in heavy rain obliged running the car in Wet mode, and even then it showed a disturbing readiness to steal its way past 200km/h with a bit of weight on the right pedal. Not the kind of speed you want to be doing if you happen upon a bit of standing water.

Mind you, the Ferrari is one of those cars that feels cheerfully stable no matter how high the numbers on the speedo climb. It’s simply built for them, I guess, generating an amazing 340kg of downforce at 250km/h.

What’s less expected is how comfortably it glides over pitted tarmac and battered country roads, the body staying utterly level while the wheels undoubtedly jounce rapidly underneath it. The dampers, whose firmness are adjusted by a magnetic fluid that can alter its viscosity, are supreme.

Coming to that realisation requires you to get used to the scalpel sharp steering. It makes the Ferrari’s front end dive into corners like a hungry hawk on a field mouse, but it’s also fast enough to help you save the odd wiggle, such as when you’ve decided to switch from Wet to Race mode and trod on the accelerator too enthusiastically on a still-damp road.


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2 seat 2-door 296 GTB Coupe Ferrari Hybrid

About the Author

Leow Ju Len

CarBuyer Singapore's original originator, Ju-Len in person is exactly how he is on the written word and behind the wheel. Meaning that he darts all over the place and just when you thought he's lost the plot, you realise that it's just you not keeping up with his incredible rate of speed and thought.

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