Ferrari has revealed the 296 GTS, a new convertible version of its hybrid 296 GTB, still with 830hp, but now with a folding hardtop roof.
The GTS is largely identical to the GTB with the same front-end treatment, same air intakes along the side and rear which, again, looks the same as its coupé sibling. Some subtle styling changes have been made to accommodate the folding roof which stows away in front of the Ferrari's mid-mounted V6 engine. This has led to a slight reworking of the 296's rear buttresses which are now connected by an "aero bridge" structure providing, along with the windscreen, a sort of aerodynamic cocoon for the occupants when the roof is down. As well as these, new aerodynamic flaps have been integrated into the rear of the cabin to further reduce buffeting.
More weight, same performance
Ferrari says that the roof can be raised and lowered in under 14 seconds and at speeds of up to 45km/h. As expected, the folding hardtop does add an extra 70kg to the dry weight of the GTB, but, despite this, on-paper performance hasn't suffered.
The 296's hybrid powertrain still combines the same 663hp turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 with a 166hp electric motor to develop a total of 830hp, still making the GTS spider capable of making the 0-100km/h sprint in 2.9 seconds and going on to a top speed of 330km/h.
Buyers looking to make the most out of that performance can opt for the Assetto Fiorano package, named after Ferrari's test track at Maranello, which includes Multimatic adjustable shock absorbers and lightweight carbon-fibre pieces of aerodynamic trim including a new front lip spoiler.
Again, the inside of the GTS spider's cabin is similar to that of the GTB with the same eManettino switch on the steering wheel allowing drivers to adjust the balance of the hybrid system. The GTS is able to run for up to 24km in electric-only eDrive mode with the 7.45kWh battery sending power to an electric motor and onto the rear wheels. Hybrid mode is for maximum efficiency between the motor and engine; Performance strikes, as its name suggests, a performance-biased balance between the two, while Qualify mode is essentially for maximum-attack sessions and reduces the energy recuperation under braking to a minimum.
With the exception of the Dino Spider 246 sold under Ferrari's Dino sub-brand in the 1960s and '70s, the 296 GTS spider will be the first road-going V6-engined convertible Ferrari when it goes on sale later this year.