After teasers appeared on social media last week, the Ferrari 296 GTS spider has finally dropped. Along with the intoxicating levels of power offered by the V6 hybrid powertrain, the spider variant gets a drop-top to heighten the buzz even further, if you can afford around £250,000 ($325,275).
While it may not come with the V12 or even V8 layout historically synonymous with the Prancing Horse badge, the Ferrari 296 GTS’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 alone produces around 659bhp. Not bad, and it’s also paired with an electric motor for a total output of 819bhp and 740Nm. It can get from 0-62mph in 2.9 seconds and hit 205mph - matching the coupe.
There’s also the small matter of a short electric-only range of just under 16 miles, which is handy when you want to roll silently to the shops from the marina in your over-a-quarter-of-a-million pound supercar.
As with the 296 GTB, the GTS is also pretty breathtaking to look at, with plentiful references to Ferrari’s heritage. Ferrari worked the iconic shapes of the 1963 250 LM into the 296 GTB, and have sought to preserve this in the GTS with the roof up. But, electrically dropping the retractable hard top in the GTS makes the spider look even more dramatic thanks to its pronounced buttresses. Doing so takes just 14 seconds (up or down) at speeds of up to 28mph.
While the extra strengthening in convertible models can make them heavier and therefore affect performance, the Ferrari 296 GTS will also be available with the performance-enhancing Assetto Fiorano package. This adds GT-racing-derived Multimatic shock absorbers, carbon fibre additions all-round for weight saving and added aerodynamic enhancements to the front bumper which add more downforce.
More extensive revisions include completely redesigned door panels which save a further 8kg. Higher performance Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2R tyres can also be specified which offer improved levels of grip and are explicitly intended for track use.
The V6 hybrid powertrain used in the GTB and GTS might take traditional customers some time to get used to, but the marque is keen to remind buyers these are fully-fledged Ferraris. The package can also be specified with an exclusive livery which Ferrari intends as a homage to the Ferrari 250 Le Mans.