The front has a pure, polished, compact volume. The 296 GTB’s front end is more tapered than in previous models of similar proportions. Seen from above, the crest of the front mudguard outlines the perimeter of the front and creates a theme that breaks up the front light clusters; the headlight lens are on the outside, while the inside features the DRLs under which the brake air intake is located.
The 296 GTB seems to spring from a single pencil stroke, without optical effects of lightening or stark chromatic contrasts. The car has a unique identity, rewriting the rules while rediscovering the authentic principles of a distinctly Italian design. Formal cleanliness and clear-cut lines enhance the sportiness of this worthy heir to a philosophy deeply rooted in Ferrari tradition. Its modernity refers back to cars of the 1960s with their simplicity and functionality, including the 1963 250 LM, which provided notable elements of inspiration such as the cut of the “B” pillar, the rear haunches and the truncated tail.
The rear is dominated by a ring-shaped flying buttress that houses the engine compartment cover, developed on an unusual three-dimensional glass surface. The central part of the car stands out with a body-colored element that represents a style theme dear to the Maranello marque. Another characteristic of the 296 GTB is the truncated tail that enhances its compactness. The tail incorporates a horizontal element that encloses lights and an integrated spoiler.
The active mobile spoiler stands out at the rear. Its philosophy is opposite to that of previous Ferrari berlinettas. In the past, the flaps switched from the HighDownforce (HD) to LowDrag (LD) configuration to hit top speed on the straight, while on the 296 GTB the active splitter aims to boost downforce. The spoiler is integrated into the bumper; when maximum downforce is not necessary, it is hidden in the tail, but as soon as the acceleration exceeds a given threshold, it raises. The LaFerrari-inspired active spoiler integrated into the rear bumper allows the 296 GTB to generate a high level of rear downforce when required: the equivalent of a maximum of 360 kg at 250 km/h in high-downforce configuration with the Assetto Fiorano package. This results in a 100 kg increase in rear downforce, increasing driving fun in performance conditions and minimizing stopping distances.
The chassis has a 50 mm shorter wheelbase than previous mid-rear engine Ferrari berlinettas, which improves dynamic agility. Also noteworthy are the revamped brake-by-wire system and ‘Aero’ brake caliper, as well as SMC-FRS magnetorheological dampers.
The new ABS control module, which is integrated with the new 6w-CDS sensor, allows the grip limits of the rear tyres to be pushed still further, makes for greater repeatability of stopping distances and thus improving performance when turning into corners.
Meticulous attention was paid to reducing weight to ensure the car’s balance and delicacy of handling: la 296 GTB is class-leading in regards to the overall weight-to-power ratio: 1.77 kg/cv.