Following the 2013 LaFerrari hybrid and the 2019 SF90 Stradale plug-in hybrid, Ferrari is introducing its third electrified car. While the first one had a big V12 and was followed by a V8 machine, the new 296 GTB downsizes the powertrain recipe to a V6 with a 3.0-liter displacement and a pair of turbochargers. It works together with a single electric motor, enabling a combined power of 818 horsepower (610 kilowatts) and 564 pound-feet (740 Newton-meters) of torque.
Even though it has only a V6 engine, the car’s performance is nothing short of amazing. It needs as little as 2.9 seconds to reach 62 mph (100 km/h) from a standstill, which makes it just as quick as the F8 Tributo with its larger V8 engine. As a matter of fact, the 0-124 mph (0-200 km/h) task is completed half a second quicker, with the new 296 GTB needing 7.3 seconds to get the job done.
Since the plug-in hybrid system is mainly about performance, it shouldn’t come as a surprise the battery is rather small. It has a capacity of 7.45 kWh and sits beneath the floor to offer an electric range of up to 25 kilometers (16 miles). Despite the added hardware associated with a PHEV system, Ferrari says the car weighs only 3,241 lbs (1,470 kg) in its lightest form, before adding fluids and a driver.
With a top speed of over 205 mph (330 km/h), the 296 GTB is not exactly slow despite its smaller engine. Mounted in the rear, the electric motor develops 164 horsepower (122 kilowatts) and assists the combustion engine to deliver V8-like performance but with greater fuel efficiency. Ferrari’s engineers adapted the dual-clutch, eight-speed auto from other models that use this transmission, including the SF90 Stradale / Spider.
Tested at Ferrari’s in-house Fiorano circuit, the 296 GTB completed a lap of the race track in 1:21, thus shaving off one and a half seconds from the F8 Tributo’s lap time. It goes to show electrification and performance go hand in hand, even though some will see downsizing to a V6 as a deal-breaker.
The plug-in hybrid powertrain is certainly not a one-time affair as Ferrari is expected to implement the PHEV system in future models. One possible application is the Purosangue, the brand’s hotly anticipated SUV scheduled to come out at some point next year.