By Otsile Kadiege
In June last year, Ferrari unveiled the 296 GTB with a V6 plug-in hybrid powertrain. The latter recently landed in South Africa and a few motoring media attended the local unveiling. During the week of the GTB’s local debut, Ferrari pulled the veil off a 296 GTS (Gran Turismo Spider) with a retractable top.
Like its hardtop derivative, the 296 GTS misses out on the Maranello based automaker’s 8-cylinder powerplant. Instead it makes use of a turbocharged 3.0 litre V6 plug-in hybrid engine making a total output of 610 kW and 740 Nm. All that power is sent to the rear-wheels via the automaker’s 8-speed DCT allowing the 296 GTS to sprint from 0-100 km/h in 2.9 seconds. It has a top speed of 330 km/h and revs all the way up to 8,500 rpm.
The Formula 1 sourced electric motor produces up to 122 kW. It also inherits the MGU-K (Motor Generator Unit, Kinetic) moniker. The electric motor and ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) communicate via the Transition Manager Actuator (TMA) which allows them to be used both together to produce a combined power output of 610 kW or decouples them to allow the electric motor to run solo. When the eDrive mode is engaged, the high voltage battery with 7.45 kWh capacity allows the 296 GTS to run solely on electric power for up to 25 km.
On the 296 GTS, an active device is being used not to manage drag but to generate extra downforce. According to Ferrari, the LaFerrari-inspired active spoiler integrated into the rear bumper allows the 296 GTS to generate a high level of rear downforce when required: the equivalent of a maximum of 360 kg at 250 km/h in the high-downforce configuration with the Assetto Fiorano package.
Assetto Fiorano package
For clients who want to exploit the car’s extreme power and performance to the utmost, the Ferrari 296 GTS Assetto Fiorano package is available. It includes special GT racing-derived adjustable Multimatic shock absorbers optimised for track use; high downforce carbon-fibre appendages on the front bumper that can deliver an additional 10 kg of downforce, a Lexan rear screen, and more extensive use of lightweight materials such as carbon-fibre for both cabin and exterior.
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