There’s a new convertible Ferrari! It’s the 296 GTS, and it looks quite exciting. It’s based on the mid-engined 296 GTB Berlinetta, and from most angles it looks almost identical, but now you can fold the top down and get some wind in your hair.
It shares the same plug-in hybrid engine found in the GTB, a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 producing 663PS (487kW) coupled to a 167PS (122kW) electric motor. All told that makes for a total of 830PS (610kW) and 740Nm (546lb ft) of torque at 6,250rpm, with a sprint from 0-62mph in 2.9 seconds and a top speed in excess of 205mph.
All that power is sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox and managed by an electronic differential. An F1-style MGU-K recovers wasted energy to help charge the battery and further power the hybrid motor. If there’s ever a time when you don’t fancy making the most of the V6, the 296 GTS is capable of up to 15 miles of electric-powered driving.
In terms of design, the Ferrari 296 GTS follows the same lines as the GTB, with the addition of a few styling tweaks to accommodate and integrate the folding roof. The roof itself is a folding hard top that retracts or deploys in 14 seconds at speeds of up to 28mph. So important is it that the V6 remains visible at all times, Ferrari has made it so the roof splits into two sections that fit in front of the engine bay.
There’s no need to worry about whether opting for the GTS will mean sacrificing handling. An active rear spoiler helps to manage drag while also maximising downforce and pressing the car into the ground. Anyone keen to get the full track day experience, meanwhile, will be interested in the Assetto Fiorano package. This includes weight reduction and improved aero, leading to a maximum downforce level of up to 360kg at 155mph, as well as suspension tech derived from Ferrari’s GT racers.
In a year when Ferrari is set to introduce its Purosangue SUV, it’s good to know there’s room in the design shed for things like the 296 GTS. Even though we may have entered into the V6 era in place of V8s, who can say no to an open-topped Ferrari?