Ferrari 296 GTS debuts in Malaysia – open-top 830 PS and 740 Nm V6 plug-in hybrid, from RM1.448 million – paultan.org
Three months after its global premiere, the Ferrari 296 GTS has made its ASEAN debut, having being introduced earlier this evening at the ongoing, week-long Esperienza Ferrari showcase at Sepang International Circuit.
The open-top derivative of the 296 GTB arrives in Malaysia just four months after the latter made its local debut, and will go on sale here priced from RM1.448 million (before duties, customisation options, taxes and insurance).
Mechanically, the rear-engined two-seater berlinetta spider follows much of that seen on the coupe, but the exterior gets some design alterations to accomodate the retractable hard top. The lightweight folding roof, which offers the car a silhouette very similar to that of the 296 GTB when it’s up, is split into two sections that fold flush over the front half of the engine bay.
The unit takes 14 seconds to retract or deploy, and can be operated at speeds of up to 45 km/h. To accomodate the RHT, design changes include a new tonneau cover design, which creates a virtual fairing that mimics the aerodynamic behaviour of the coupe.
Other styling revisions include redesigned buttresses and the incorporation of a signature ‘aero bridge’ as well as the introduction of a window in the rear section of the engine cover, the latter a switch from the composite unit seen on the GTB.
The 296 GTB’s chassis was also reoptimised for the GTS. Modifications to the A-pillar, B-pillar and sills were carried out, effectively improving torsional rigidity and bending stiffness by 50% and 8% respectively compared to previous spider applications.
No changes to the powertrain from the GTB – it gets the same F163 engine with 654 hp (663 PS) from the 120° twin-turbo V6. Likewise, the output of the electric motor, which is capable of delivering 122 kW (164 hp, or 167 PS). Combined system output is 818 hp (830 PS) at 8,000 rpm and 740 Nm at 6,250 rpm.
The system is paired with an eight-speed wet F1 dual-clutch transmission, which aside from the 296 GTB is also to be found on the SF90 Stradale and SF90 Spider, Roma and Portofino M.
Despite weighing 70 kg more at 1,540 kg compared to the GTB, the GTS has the same 0-100 km/h sprint time of 2.9 seconds, and is only three-tenths slower to 200 km/h from standstill, taking 7.6 seconds to do so compared to the 7.3 seconds of the coupe. Maximum speed is also identical, the car capable of more than 330 km/h.
Like the GTB, the lithium-ion battery on the GTS is an 80-cell 7.45 kWh unit, which has four less cells than the 7.9 kWh battery in the SF90. In terms of charging time, the unit charges around 5% faster than the Stradale’s unit, which takes about three hours to fill). This offers the car an all-electric range of 25 km, and allows the car to operate in pure electric drive at speeds of up to 135 km/h.
Four drive modes are available, selectable via the eManettino controller. These are all-electric eDrive; Hybrid, the default setting when the car is turned on; Performance, which keeps the engine running and prioritises charging the battery than on efficiency, and Qualify, which provides maximum power output from the electric motor, prioritising performance over battery charging.
As with the GTB, the GTS features the same raft of dynamics control systems. There’s eSSC (electronic Side Slip Control), electric traction control (eTC) and eDiff to be found, along with a six-way Chassis Dynamic Sensor (6w-CDS), which the automaker says enhances the car’s fun-to-drive factor and improves the vehicle’s response to both steering and throttle input.
Braking has been enhanced with the inclusion of a new brake-by-wire system and a new function called ABS evo, which ensures pedal travel is reduced to an absolute minimum but without any sacrifice to efficiency. The new system provides more consistent braking force under repeated heavy braking, and shorter stopping distances in the dry – compared to the F8 Tributo, braking distance from 200-0 km/h is reduced by 8.8%.
Interior-wise, the presentation pretty much follows that seen on the GTB, although there are some minor revisions, these being a reworked centre console and seats. In the case of the former, the tunnel on the GTS has been redesigned. Rather than being open as on the 296 GTB, it has a closing oddments compartment, which the automaker says further emphasises the continuity between the mats and tunnel.
Also to be found are specific diapason-style seats, created using contrasting grooves which coordinate aesthetically with the edge strip of the instrument cluster. The geometry of the trim behind the headrests has also been reconfigured to channel as much of the air as possible towards the tonneau cover. This reduces the amount of flow recirculating inside the cabin with the top down.
Similar to the 296 GTB, the GTS is also available with the Assetto Fiorano package (as seen here on the red car in the photos), which includes lightweight features and aero modifications.
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