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Ferrari 296 GTB Review: Is this the best hybrid supercar yet?

Watch Vicki Butler-Henderson give her verdict on the Ferrari 296 GTB.

Welcome back to DriverReviews, where in this car review, we have the Ferrari 296 GTB, which differs slightly from the usual range by offering a little electric power combined with a lot of petrol power.

In case you were wondering, the model name 296 stands for the 2.9-litre 6-cylinder mid rear-engine, and GTB stands for Grand Turismo Berlinetta. The 296 GTB is an addition to Ferrari's plug-in hybrid product portfolio (the SF90 Stradale) and will set you back around £242,000 to own one.

Technical Specifications
• 818hp (Hybrid) / 653hp (ICE) / 164hp (Electric)
• 0-62mph happens in 2.9 seconds
• 15 miles (25km) electric range

Firstly, we must address the colour which this 296 GTB has been delivered in. Before the car colour connoisseurs complain, this colour scheme is a nod to Ferrari’s first UK importer, Maranello concessionaires. However, once you can get past that, there is a stunning mid rear mounted V6 engine on display through a window towards the rear of the car which will kick out 618 horsepower.

Examining more of the 296 GTB’s external beauty will reveal the car’s integrated active rear spoiler which is there to give you more rear downforce should you need it if you are pushing the car to its limits. Vicki points out that this is one of Ferrari’s most compact Berlinettas within the last decade which reflects the boot size too. A modest 200 litres of boot space is available here but should be plenty for two carry-on flight cases.

ferrari 296 gtb bts 1

Optional Extras & Prices

When looking at any car of this stature, it’s only right to talk about the ludicrous optional extras that can be added and the prices at which they will cost.

The blue stripe which features on the car in the review video - £14,400.

Those 20” forged diamond rims - £4,600 with an additional £2,400 for the blue colour to match the stripe.

Aluminium brake callipers - £1,300.

Black ceramic exhaust pipes - £960.

One carbon fibre key - £480.

The high performance assetto fiorano package which gives you lightweight features and aero mods - £26,000.

When you add up the entire shopping list of optional extras for the 296 GTB in the video, you reach an eye-watering £118,000.

Wheels & Tyre Talk

The tyres of choice in this review, which Vicki uses to put the Ferrari through its paces, are Michelin's Pilot Sport 4 S. If you were to inspect the sidewall of these particular tyres, you would see that they are indeed built for Ferrari, as indicated by the K1 marking.

The Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres are highly rated by the customers who have experienced them in the real world, winning the Best Tyres for High Performance Cars award in the 2023 DriverReviews Customer Choice Awards. The PS4 S received a rating of 4.8 / 5.0 from over 4,500 reviews.

Interior and Accessories

A feature that could easily be overlooked is the focus on the driver with the dashboard coming to a peak behind the steering wheel to give the driver the best driving experience possible. This paired with a plethora of controls dotted around the carbon fibre steering wheel and a couple of unmissable gear paddles behind the steering wheel point to a really dialled in car which is raring to be pushed on the track.

The seats are carbon fibre too and are racing seats which are nearly £6,000 as an option. As you can see in the video, they are contoured, and if you plan to take your 296 GTB on track, you can add four-point harnesses which will cost you around £2,700. Worth it if you are going to use all the 800 bhp that the car has to offer.

Ferrari have thought of the co-driver too as there is a screen in front of them that allows them to control things like media and maps. A nifty feature is that they can see how fast you are going (just in case you need someone to check your speed while you are on the track and need to keep your eyes on the road).

Attention to detail is paramount in Ferrari products, and this is reflected in the Italian flag-themed switches for reverse, automatic, manual and launch control. Practicality isn't a word you'd normally associate with a Ferrari, but with the 296 GTB you can. Because it is a two-seater, there is a good-sized shelf behind the seats, which could be a good place for work or shopping bags, with the addition of a net for added security.

ferrari 296 gtb bts 2

Driving on track

Next up is what the 296 GTB was designed for, unleashing power. Vicki talks through the stats here and they are stats to be excited about. The combination of the internal combustion engine and electric power gives you approximately 820 bhp with 720 NM of torque. These numbers translate into ridiculous 0-62 mph times, as this will happen in no more than 2.9 seconds and will go on to achieve speeds of 200mph.

Concentrating on manoeuvring the car around the track is made possible by reducing focus on other second-nature processes such as changing gear. Vicki mentions how the large carbon fibre paddles feed into the twin-turbo engine with ease. For additional driving pleasure, the engine allows you to take the revs right up to 8,500 rpm and for those who love trivia, the Ferrari engineers actually say that the 296 GTB has such a perfect engine sound that they have nicknamed it “piccolo V12” which translates to the little V12.

There are plenty of driving modes at the driver's disposal with the Manettino setting, Sport, Race, Traction off and full ESC control off. As the chassis is rear-wheel drive, it goes without saying that extra caution is required when switching off ESC, coupled with the power this car has. Ferrari have thought of this though as there is a 6-way chassis dynamic sensor which is the brains behind the handling and will work out optimum handling outputs for you.

Being able to stop is very important given the power potential, and the 296 GTB comes with carbon-ceramic brakes that are more than up to the task, and there is some regenerative braking when needed, as well as that tail mentioned at the start to give you some extra downforce to help slow things down.

Driving in electric mode (eDrive)

If you don’t require the loud V6 engine to propel you forward, you can put the car into eDrive mode and if fully charged, you will get 15 miles worth of range (which equates to approximately 25km). Despite a relatively low range (which might be enough for some), the 296 GTB will reach speeds of 84 mpg in eDrive, and you get an additional 167 horsepower on top of the near 700 from the V6 engine.

Vicki’s Verdict

“You could say the 296 is two cars in one and therefore a bargain, something I have never said about a Ferrari before”.

Overall, Vicki seems impressed with Ferrari’s 296 GTB, but perhaps this is mostly down to the V6 engine paired with those exquisite features spoken about in the review more so than the eDrive system. Powertrains aren’t the only out of the ordinary here, as the steering wheel isn’t quite the Ferrari standard. Vicki mentions that there are too many buttons, and the user experience isn’t particularly great as there are multiple steps in place to get to what you need through the steering wheel which isn’t practical when controlling one of the world’s fastest hybrids.

It's fair to say though that the noise which the V6 engine makes wins Vicki over which might just put the Ferrari 296 GTB on her shortlist! Does it make yours?

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