Ferrari 296 GTS convertible debuts at Sepang

Derryn Wong
2023 Ferrari 296 GTS Assetto Fiorano preview - Carbuyer Singapore - front 3/4 low shot

Southeast Asian debut for Ferrari’s plug-in hybrid convertible, starts at S$1.3m, expected deliveries for Singapore begin in 2023

Sepang, Malaysia – Ferrari’s new drop-top just dropped in at Sepang Circuit, with the Southeast Asia regions first glimpse of the 296 GTS today.

2023 Ferrari 296 GTS preview - Carbuyer Singapore -  rear 3/4 shot high crowd launch

Official pricing is yet to be confirmed, but expect an approximately S$200,00 premium over the 296 GTB, or S$1.3-million without a COE. 

The 296 GTS is based on the 296 GTB coupe. The latter is a replacement/alternative to the F8 Tributo coupe, so the same applies for the 296 GTS and the F8 Spider.

2023 Ferrari 296 GTS preview - Carbuyer Singapore - doors open front of car crowd launch
2023 Ferrari 296 GTS preview - Carbuyer Singapore - engine bay

Unlike the recent tradition of V8-powered, mid-engined berlinettas (aka coupes like the F8 and 488 GTB before it) that sit below Ferrari’s V12 front-engine GT range (eg 812 Superfast).

the new 296 is a V6-powered plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that brings significant change to the Prancing Horse. While the SF90 Stradale is the firm’s first full-production hybrid, and first PHEV, the 296 signifies a true electric change for Maranello. Accordingly, the 296 GTS is the second PHEV convertible from Ferrari, after the flagship S$2m SF90 Spider.

2023 Ferrari 296 GTS preview - Carbuyer Singapore - cockpit seats

Being a Spider, the car offers an open-air driving experience with the folding hard-top roof that can be deployed or stowed in 14 seconds and at speeds of up to 45km/h. A wind deflector behind the passenger headrests reduces wind turbulence.

2023 Ferrari 296 GTS preview - Carbuyer Singapore -  rear 3/4 view plugin

As a result of the Spider mechanism and tweaks, the GTS weighs 130kg more than the coupe, though it’s still a relatively lightweight 1,540kg. In any case, the GTS’ performance is largely similar to the GTB, with an identical V6-powered PHEV drivetrain.

2023 Ferrari 296 GTS preview - Carbuyer Singapore -  rear exhaust tail

The 7.35kWh battery pack allows a quoted range of up to 25km on electric power alone, but let’s be honest, it’s nice to have but not the main draw. The system totals out at an eye-opening 830hp from the V6 paired with a 167hp electric motor, but since this is a Ferrari through and through, it’s the engine that still is the centrepiece. The 2.9-litre V6 makes 663hp, which is a higher specific output than the previously record-holding F8 Tributo’s 3.9-litre V8. 

2023 Ferrari 296 GTS preview - Carbuyer Singapore - engine

The V6 has a special ‘flatter’ layout with a 120-degree V, and turbos inside the V itself, but the engine is overall smaller, lower, and lighter than the F8’s engine, making for a lower centre of gravity too. It’s also been designed to emulate a V12 when it comes to screaming – it revs to 8,500rpm, has been designed with primary mass balance and ‘V12-esque’ inlet and exhaust characteristics. 

2023 Ferrari 296 GTS preview - Carbuyer Singapore - front car plugin

The 0-100km/h is identical to the GTB’s 2.9 seconds, and the car is marginally slower in the 0-200km/h sprint (7.6 seconds vs 7.3 seconds), and on Ferrari’s Fiorano test track the GTS is 0.8 seconds slower, at 1:21.8.

2023 Ferrari 296 GTS preview - Carbuyer Singapore - AF Asseto Fiorano
250 LM inspired livery for the 296 GTS Asseto Fiorano

Like the GTB, you can also option the GTS with a Asseto Fiorano pack (the car shown at Sepang) for sharper handling characteristics. It includes sport-tuned ‘Multimatic’ dampers, more weight reduction, and increased aero elements – for example carbonfibre ‘appendages’ on the front add 10kg more downforce. Another option for the AF package is livery inspired by the 250 LM racing car (above).

AF pack on left, normal car on right


296 GTB 296 GTS Convertible Ferrari high performance Hybrid PHEV spider sports car

About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's former chief editor was previously the editor for Top Gear Singapore and a presenter for CNA's Cruise Control motoring segment.

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