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Ferrari unveils 296 GTS hybrid drop-top

Ferrari has revealed its 296 GTS, a mid-engined convertible with a 830hp plug-in hybrid powertrain

Ferrari has revealed its 296 GTS, a mid-engined convertible with a 830hp plug-in hybrid powertrain.

The new ‘berlinetta spider’ is effectively an open-top version of the 296 GTB that launched earlier in 2022, described as “a supercar that is more eco friendly but no less ferocious.”

The only changes to the GTS over its GTB sister are to enable open-top driving. Its uses the same drivetrain, combining a mid-mounted 663hp V6 petrol engine driving the rear wheels, with an electric motor added behind the engine and capable of contributing a further 167hp.

As a result the 296 GTS will sprint through 62mph from rest in 2.9 seconds, reaching 124mph in 7.6 seconds and going on to a maximum speed of 205mph. These figures match the GTB, very unusual for a convertible version of an existing car particularly as the folding roof adds 70kg of weight to the GTS.

Ferrari is yet to release fuel consumption or emissions figures for the 296 GTS but states that the car’s plug-in hybrid system does give the car a potential electric-only range of around 15 miles.

The 296 GTS looks almost identical to its hard-top sibling from the outside, the only noticeable difference being the shape of the rear deck to accommodate a new storage bay for the roof when it is folded down.

Raising or retracting the top takes 14 seconds and can be carried out at speeds up to 28mph. The roof splits in two as its retracts to fold flush over the front of the engine, which Ferrari says maintains the “thermal dissipation characteristics and the balance of the overall design.”

An adjustable rear screen behind the seats allows cabin occupants to make themselves more comfortable when travelling with the roof down.

Despite the folding roof mechanism the aerodynamics of the car are maintained on a par with the GTB, including an active rear spoiler which deploys at speed to add more rear downforce.

An ‘Assetto Fiorano’ package is also available for the 296 GTS, named after Ferrari’s famous test track across the road from its factory in Maranello, Italy. The pack adds uprated adjustable dampers, some aerodynamic tweaks made in carbon fibre and various minor changes to save weight.

Ferrari is yet to reveal prices for the 296 GTS but they will be higher than the £241,550 starting price of the GTB. The car’s prime rival is expected to be the McLaren 720S Spider.

The Ferrari 296 GTB, which currently holds an impressive Expert Rating of 92%, has had a very warm reception from the British media, praised for its distinctive styling and enormous performance, but criticised for its expensive price tag and very costly optional extras.

Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.