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Magic in Marbella: The 296 GTS

At the end of last year, several lucky drivers came together in southern Spain to put the 296 GTS to the test, with spectacular results
Words: Carlos Quintanilla

Pablo Picasso, the universal Malaga-born artist, used to say to his nephew from his residence in France: "Look, there, in the south, is Malaga." And it is there, in Malaga and in the south, that a select group of clients, at the wheel of the Ferrari 296 GTS, enjoyed an experience as genuinely unique as the works of the genius.

The province of Malaga, located in the south of the Iberian Peninsula on the Mediterranean coast, is known not only for the Costa del Sol but also for its rugged, mountainous terrain, through which some of the most impressive and spectacular routes can be found. 

Watch as 12 Ferrari owners take to the roads of Marbella in the powerful new 296 GTS on a very special experience

This offers the driver an eclectic and perfectly balanced combination of sea and mountain scenery, where rugged and spectacular ranges merge with the authentic Mediterranean's blue, light, and brightness.

In December, a group of customers could feel the heartbeat of the new Ferrari 296 GTS in an unforgettable experience where luxury, refinement, and beauty inspired even the smallest detail. 

On the first day, the city of Malaga, famous for being home to such prestigious museums as the Picasso, the Centre Pompidou, and the Carmen Thyssen, welcomed the group to one of its most emblematic locations, the Gran Hotel Miramar.

Twelve Ferrari 296 GTS were waiting for us in the gardens in perfect order and arrangement. After a delicious lunch, it was time for the briefing, presented by the Ferrari team of instructors and drivers, who explained in detail all the technical and dynamic characteristics of the vehicle, including details of the route we were going to take. 

The drivers were able to unleash the full power of the 830CV V6 hybrid engine on the winding mountain roads of Malaga

We quickly climbed into the cars and, leaving the city behind, set off on a route towards the rugged, inhospitable, and labyrinthine mountains of Ronda, which inspired the famous opera Carmen by Georges Bizet.

The engine of the 296 GTS echoed unmistakably through the mountainous landscape, almost as if it were another symphony. It was the perfect environment where customers could experience lateral and longitudinal acceleration and maximum driving pleasure, through a succession of wild, romantic, and fascinating landscapes.

Aside from driving the new car, the Ferrari Experience was a chance to meet other owners from around the world and make new friendships

From Ronda, we took the road to Marbella, whose countless twists and turns took us from a mountainous and rocky landscape to an authentic Mediterranean landscape, surrounded by oak and pine forests, descending towards the sea until we reached our destination, the legendary and luxurious Marbella Club Hotel, the unique cradle of the Marbella jet set in the 1980s.

The second day brought even more excitement and surprises. Clients were invited to breakfast at the Villa del Mar, a spectacular and iconic private beachfront villa converted and personalized as Casa Ferrari. The meeting was more technical, and our instructors were able to give more detailed and precise instructions on track driving, the real highlight of the day. 

The cloudless skies presented a perfect opportunity to take in the flowing lines of the new car and appreciate the handcrafted interior

The clients' excitement to get to the track as soon as possible was palpable in the atmosphere, and without further ado, we set off for the Ascari Circuit.

At Ferrari, all the know-how gained from racing in the many categories in which it competes is aimed at transferring each of its innovations to its production cars. And I asked myself, as I arrived, could there be a better place to discover all the 296 GTS offers than on such an exceptional track as Ascari?

The answer was not long in coming, and I found out when we were already at the car's wheel, experiencing first-hand the exceptional handling and adrenaline rush that only a Ferrari can offer. To ensure that the experience reflected the "fun to drive" concept so characteristic of this model, a series of driving challenges were set for the customers to test their skills and the car's performance.

Clients were able to relax and unwind at a special 'Casa Ferrari' beachfront villa designed for the occasion before heading for the track

At the end of the day, after a sun-drenched lunch at the track's grand country house, one of the participants confessed to me: "It's difficult to express what you feel at the wheel of a Ferrari because you often can't find the words when the emotion overwhelms you. But these were two unforgettable days that will remain in my memory forever, and I will be able to tell, recount, and explain them in detail. It was a unique and truly Ferrari experience.”

A famous phrase of the famous genius from Malaga, with whom I started, immediately came to my mind: "Action is the fundamental key to any success." And during these unforgettable days, I can assure you that we had action in its purest form. Perhaps success can be summed up by the broad, ear-to-ear smile I saw on every client's face as they got out of the car.