Ferrari bragged about its new 3.0-litre V6 engine so much that it even called it the ‘picollo V12′, baby V12 in Italian, as a nod to some of the most successful engines it has ever made. But for some inexplicable reason, Ferrari chose to show off its new engine with the 296 GTB – a hard top, berlinetta-style coupe, which as we all know, is not the ideal candidate to experience a powertrain’s true fury.
So in an effort to undo the blip in the universe, Ferrari has now lifted the veils on the 296 GTS – which stands for Gran Turismo Spider – to finally let us (or rather, those able to afford one) fully engulf ourselves in auditory nirvana.
As the name suggests, the Ferrari 296 GTS is nearly completely identical to its coupe twin, sharing the same basic aluminium chassis and the 830 hp hybrid-assisted 3.0-litre V6 engine. The only major difference between the two is, of course, the GTS’ retractable hardtop roof, that can be opened or closed in 14 seconds, at speeds of up to 45 km/h.
When not needed (which should be most of the time when you buy a car like this), the roof splits into two parts and stows away neatly behind the passenger compartment. That unfortunately means that the beautiful see-through engine cover had to be shrunk down to just a small window now, but we think it’s a small price to pay for the multi-senses overload you get to experience with the roof down.
The hideaway roof does come with a weight penalty of around 70 kg thanks to the additional chassis reinforcement components, but performance on the Ferrari 296 GTS doesn’t appear to suffer much. Ferrari still quotes the same 0-100 km/h time of 2.9 seconds as the GTB, while 0-200 km/h only takes 0.3 seconds longer at 7.6 seconds.
The 830 hp and 740 Nm (663 hp from engine) output figures also remain identical to the coupe, as is the 25 km of electric driving range when in EV mode, which can be engaged at speeds of up to 135 km/h.
Just like the GTB, the all-new Ferrari 296 GTS will also be offered with an Assetto Fiorano package for those who want to smell burning rubbers more than the country glades.
Seen here on the red and silver car (a front-to-rear stripe paintwork unique to the AF), the driver-focused upgrade package brings along several weight reduction measures including greater use of carbon fibre parts and lightweight door panels, alongside additional aero winglets on the front bumpers that increased downforce by 10 kg, and a set of super sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2R tyres.