Ferrari 296 GTB: 5 things to know about Maranello's first V6 PHEV

Derryn Wong
2022 Ferrari 296 GTB on track - Singapore -

Ferrari’s very first V6 plug-in hybrid (PHEV) has a record-breaking engine, active aero, and lots more – and is due in Singapore in 2022

-New addition to the Ferrari lineup, compact sports car emphasising fun behind the wheel
-New 3.0 V6 PHEV system debuts, will likely power future models 
-2.9-litre V6 engine, turbos ‘in vee’ with specific output production record of 221hp/litre 
-Plug-in system total 830hp, with 167hp motor, 7.45kWh battery and 25km range
-0-100km/h in 2.9 seconds, faster around Fiorano than an F8 Tributo

Maranello, Italy – This is the future of Ferrari and it is six: Ferrari today revealed its biggest step into the world of electrification, with a two-seater, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) sports car, the 296 GTB. 

It marks a new era for Ferrari. The brand’s first full-production PHEV model, the SF90 Scuderia, is now the non-hypercar flagship of the ‘regular’ Ferrari range. Like the SF90, the 296 GTB joins the existing Ferrari range and does not replace any existing models. “The 296 GTB creates a new segment of being the most fun to drive in our product range,” says Enrico Galliera, Ferrari’s Chief Marketing/Commercial Officer.

The new 2.9-litre PHEV drivetrain is expected to power more Ferraris to come, and while Ferrari’s executives would not comment on models in the near future – as typical – they did reveal that more electrified models are coming, with Ferrari’s first full BEV to arrive in 2025.

The car has a total system output of 830hp, does 0-100km/h in 2.9 seconds, with a top speed of ‘more than 340km/h’. That sounds very par for the course for a mid-engined Ferrari, but Ferrari has also conceptualised the 296 GTB as a car that puts its emphasis on being fun to drive, and its wheelbase of 2,600mm is the shortest amongst the current lineup.

2022 Ferrari 296 GTB - Singapore -

The 296 GTB will see first deliveries in Q1 2022 to left-hand drive markets first. It’s also scheduled to arrive in Singapore in 2022, but there is no confirmed pricing information available yet.

In Europe, the car costs EUR269,000, which is a little more than the F8 Spider (EUR250,000), and the latter costs S$1.1m without COE/VES/options, so a S$1.2m price tag is our best guess. In classic Ferrari fashion, customers have probably known about the existence of the 296 GTB by word of mouth alone and the waiting list is at least a year long by this point. 

Here are five important things to know about the 296 GTB – and one important thing we don’t know.

1. It looks like a shrunken SF90 and for good reason

2022 Ferrari 296 GTB - Singapore - rear top shot

As the SF90 is the existing PHEV for Ferrari, the 296 GTB looks a lot like its brother with clean lines, curved almost organic looking surfaces, and a broad, flat stance and similar details all tailored towards optimising aerodynamics. 

Looking at the front it’s all about air too: air channels integrated into the headlights and the bottom lower sides are for brake cooling, while the colossal meshed lower section is for cooling the engine and gearbox via radiators. 

Active aerodynamics are more common in the push toward drag reduction, but Ferrari says the 296 is the first car that adopts AA for increasing downforce. The active rear spoiler (the black section between the taillights) is deployed based on acceleration figures and adds up to 100kg of downforce to improve control and reduce braking distances. At the rear there’s some departure from tradition, like the SF90: No circular tail-lamps, and a single, centrally-mounted exhaust. 

2022 Ferrari 296 GTB - Singapore - rear shot

Inside, the 296’s interior broadly similar to the SF90’s. There’s a clear horizontal section that ‘floats’, a podded-out section for the driver with the digital instrument cluster flanked by AC vents, though there’s now also a small display screen to inform and terrify your passenger with. 

2. It has a V6 – but it’s not a Dino

2022 Ferrari 296 GTB - Singapore - side

‘296’ comes from the engine’s 2.9-litre displacement, while ‘6’ is the number of cylinders. ‘GTB’ stands for ‘Grand Touring Berlinetta’, a name we last saw on the mid-mounted V8 model the 488 GTB, which has been superseded by the current F8 Tributo. The 296 GTB though, is faster and more powerful than the F8 (see below).

A Ferrari that doesn’t have eight or 12 cylinders is a rarity, but that won’t be true from here on out. The new V6 is “the first 6-cylinder engine installed on a road car sporting the Prancing Horse badge” and if you’re thinking hey wait a minute what about the Ferrari Dino? It didn’t have a Prancing Horse badge only a ‘Dino’ badge, while racing V6s (such as the current SF21 F1 car) aren’t road cars. 

The 296 GTB did not become a Dino revival, says Enrico Galliera, Ferrari’s Chief Marketing/Commercial Officer, because the original Dino was created to attract new clients and form a new segment, and to do that Ferrari had to compromise in various ways. “The 296 GTB is a true Ferrari in terms of performance, and that is not consistent with the Dino name,” he added.

But the 296 GTB is one of the most significant Ferraris in recent history, because it will make up far more sales than the expensive and exclusive SF90, and its V6 PHEV drivetrain is expected to proliferate further. 

Ferrari itself says the V6 has ‘epoch-changing importance’ to it and ‘ushers in a new V6 era’. Galliera also said at the car’s debut: “(The 296 GTB) is not substituting any other model in our product lineup. We are creating a new segment, consistent with our approach of making different Ferraris for different Ferraristi. The 296 is for car lovers and car enthusiasts who love to drive and want to experience the maximum emotions of driving.”

3. The turbo V6 is a clean-sheet design and crazy powerful… 

2022 Ferrari 296 GTB V6 engine - Singapore -

The engine isn’t derived from any of Ferrari’s existing powerplants and is a clean sheet design and the first of a new family (F163) of engines. While it’s smaller than existing Ferrari engines, it has the highest specific output for a production car at 221hp/litre – compare than to the F8 Tributo’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 at 185hp/litre. By itself the new V6 makes 663hp and 740Nm of torque.

It also has a unique design: The vee angle (angle between the cylinder banks) is 120 degrees, wider than the more conventional 90 degree vee angle, or the Dino’s 65-degree design. 

That’s been done not just to allow the twin turbos to reside within the V (a common practise for modern turbo V engines – see BMW’s 4.4-litre V8 for example) for improved packaging, but a wide vee will also allow a lower centre of gravity. The wide vee, Ferrari says, also allows for a more central positioning of the turbos meaning less overall size and reduced pipe/airflow distance. Since the turbos take centre stage, the intake plenums now run at the side of the cylinder heads. 

2022 Ferrari 296 GTB Singapore
V6 engine sits under the rear glass – with the turbos right on top for the first time

While the V6 layout tends to result in engines with a boring soundtrack, Ferrari says its V6 will sound like history, despite the V6 layout and turbocharging. Not only does it redline at 8,500rpm, the vee-angle, tuning of the exhaust manifolds, and even firing order also result in plenty of V12-esque high-order harmonics. There’s also a ‘hot tube’ to pipe sound into the cabin for a more organic driver experience.

In plain English? It will scream like a V12. If the launch video is anything to judge by, it certainly sounds like the rortiest V6 we’ve experienced in a while. 

Taking a closer look at two drop-top Ferraris

4. …but hybrid power is what makes the 296 GTB quicker than the F8 – and more fun.

2022 Ferrari 296 GTB Singapore - engine
Electric motor (not pictured) slots between the engine and the eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox

The 296 GTB is more compact than the F8 but has more power thanks to its electric motor, which on its own can dish out 167hp/315Nm of torque. With both the engine and motor working together the driver can summon 830hp – or 90hp more than the F8 – and this is sent entirely to the rear wheels.

As a result it has the same 0-100km/h time of 2.9-seconds, and is 0.5 seconds faster in the 0-200km/h sprint at 7.3 seconds, and it is also 1.5 seconds quicker than the F8 on Ferrari’s Fiorano test track, doing 1:21 flat – the same time as the F12 tdf and only 1.3 seconds slower than a LaFerrari.

The 296 GTB is a second quicker than the F8 around Fiorano

The latter is significant because it shows that the 296 GTB has tremendous cornering ability as well, not just straight line speed – electrified cars now tend to be good at accelerating, though heavy and unwieldy as a result.

The car’s kerb weight is only 1,555kg, so it’s waspish compared than to a small PHEV SUV’s weight of 1,700kg, although the gas-only F8 is 1,435kg. Ferrari achieved that not just by weight saving measures with the V6 – 30kg less than a V8 – and using only a single electric motor.

The battery located in the floor of the car, the engine is 50mm lower and the overall centre of gravity 10mm lower in the 296 GTB than the F8 – which is an essential ingredient of adding to the car’s agility and fun to drive nature, said Michael Leiters, Ferrari’s Chief Technology Officer.

Better electronics should allow you to feel the burn in the best way only

A new six-way chassis sensor IMU and ‘transition management actuator – whatever the heck that is – supposedly allow the driver to get even closer to the cars limits safely. In short, better sensor tech means the computers know what the car’s body is doing, and can estimate grip up to 35 percent better. In short, the 296 GTB will allow you to have fun like race drivers do – without becoming a fool. 

5. It’s fast AF, but if you want a teeny bit faster – opt for AF 

2022 Ferrari 296 GTB - 250 Lemans-tribute livery is unique to the Assetto Fiorano pack
250 Lemans-tribute livery is unique to the Assetto Fiorano pack

If you want even more go-faster goodness, there’s an optional Assetto Fiorano (AF) pack which shaves off 12kg in total and adds some lovely new bits. This includes an additional carbonfibre front bumper (+10kg downforce), more carbon bits inside, unique ‘Multimatic’ shocks that are derived from Ferrari’s GT race programme, and four-point harnesses. Those who opt for the AF pack also get to tick the box for a Lexan (polycarbonate) rear windscreen (-3kg more), Michelin Sport cup track-biased tyres, and a 250 Le Mans livery package. 

2022 Ferrari 296 GTB Assetto Fiorano - Singapore - (2)
Assetto Fiorano pack includes four-point racing-style harnesses

Plus: One thing we don’t know about the 296 GTB

Ferrari SF90 Stradale steering wheel
Steering wheel from the SF90 – very similar to the 296 GTB’s

Ferrari hasn’t revealed any concrete figures on the efficiency of the car, so this is one thing we are very curious about.
It does mention the usual PHEV drive modes, of which there are four, selectable on the eManettino on the steering wheel.

eDrive – electric only, up to 135km/h
Hybrid – Maximum efficiency 
Performance – Engine always on to maintain battery
Qualify – Maximum performance but depletes battery

If the 25km range is accurate, you could use the 296 GTB as a inter-city electric vehicle and emit nothing from the tailpipe – something we thought we’d never say about a Ferrari in this lifetime. Then again, we don’t truly expect a huge electric-only range from a Ferrari just yet: The EPA rated the SF90 at just eight miles (12.8km) battery range, down from 24km quoted by Ferrari. 

But looking at the related models, we can also make a few guesses on the 296 GTB: Firstly it’ll certainly be more efficient than the F8 – 12L/100km. Secondly, like the SF90 it shouldn’t be totally abysmal like a big V8: The SF90 scores pretty well for a car with 1,000hp, with a LTA-weighted fuel efficiency of 7.4L/100km. That doesn’t stop it from from nabbing a VES C2 (S$25,000 penalty come July 2021) though, and we expect the 296 GTB to be the same. 


Ferrari ferrari 296 gtb ferrari phev PHEV

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CarBuyer – Revolutionizing The Online Car Marketplace In Singapore

Buy Used And New Cars Online
Start your car buying journey with CarBuyer as we connect you seamlessly to the industry’s best CaseTrust-SVTA accredited car dealerships. As a one stop car online portal you can now buy your new ride, be it a pre-owned car or a brand new car from trusted dealers all over Singapore, all in one place. Our ever expanding listing of quality and covet-worthy cars, new and second hand, from both owners and trusted car dealers, will leave you spoilt for choice. Refine your search by vehicle type, registration year, price, mileage, engine type, transmission, annual depreciation value and more to find the car that best suits your needs, taste and lifestyle. You can even search for your car by dealer or directly by owner.

Sell Your Car In An Instant With Confidence
We all know how selling a car in Singapore can be a daunting task especially for a first time car seller; from trying to get a valuation for your car, finding a trusted dealer, to getting the best quote on your vehicle. CarBuyer understands the hassle and even the costs involved and have as such partnered with Huawei to develop a FIRST in Southeast Asia AI car valuation tool that is able to provide a car’s resale value at the snap of a finger. Backed with a consortium of trusted CaseTrust-SVTA accredited car dealers you can be assured that you are getting the best price for your vehicle and do not have to worry about any hidden costs.

The Ultimate Car Shopping Experience Online
CarBuyer platform is the first of its kind to be backed by Huawei’s Artificial Intelligence and cloud computing, enabling it to be able to offer users transparency and enhanced security, all with the one aim of enhancing customer experience. So come on over to buy and sell used cars online at the best prices at CarBuyer Singapore. Connect easily with dealers in real-time via our online video call feature, or schedule a test drive when you’re ready. Have some questions? Get them answered instantly with our chatbot moderated by our responsive team. Stay in the loop with our car-related tips, reviews and news. Learn the ins-and-outs of your car, as well as global and Singapore’s car updates at your own pace.