GTB 296: Pure Gasoline Derivative Without Electric Motor or License Plate
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As environmental standards become increasingly more strict in many countries globally, carmakers now find it progressively complex to launch vehicles that rely exclusively on an internal combustion engine for power. Even luxurious, fabrication-limited marques such as Ferrari have no alternative but to introduce electrification; which is why the most recent Horses trotted from Maranello feature a hybrid system. Two models emerging from this paradigm regularization are the 296 GTB and its topless correlate, the 296 GTS.
However, this 296 Challenge features an unadulterated V6 drivetrain – no hybrid add-ons. That’s because we’re discussing a bona fide racer here – and thanks to the lack of a registration plate, Ferrari does not need to undergo any assessment of emissions, since the auto will be competing in the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli. This is the ninth vehicle created for this type of contest, aiming to surpass the 488 Challenge Evo, generated for the 2020 racing year.
At the core of the 2024 Ferrari 296 Challenge is the same familiar twin-turbo, 3.0-liter engine that was also featured in the 296 GT3 released for the 2023 season. Without having to comply with the strict regulations required for road cars, the engineers have been able to unlock the potential of the V6, resulting in an impressive 690 horsepower and 546 pound-feet (740 Newton-meters) of torque. The same engine in a road car produces “only” 663 hp, but the total output is much higher due to the addition of an electric motor, resulting in a combined power of 830 hp.
Ferrari proudly proclaims that their latest engine furnishes an unmatched amount of power per liter, trumping the competition. Making its heralded debut in the Challenge 296 is the first-ever iteration of a 120-degree V6 to be used within Ferrari’s Challenge Trofeo Pirelli series. With such notable strength comes the assignment of great responsibility, requiring increase robustness in terms of brakes and tires to ensure they can manage it. For this reason, carbon-ceramics clamps are used, supercharged ABS capabilities mirroring that of the 296 GTB, and special 19-inch Pirelli tires constructed specifically for this vehicle.
There’s furthermore the aero package that helps generate more than 870 kg of downforce when it’s going 155 mph (250 km/h), constituting a highest-ever number for a competition vehicle made specifically for the single-make competition.
Ferrari will display its most modern course predator in Italy at the Mugello Circuit from October 24 through to the 30th as part of their Finali Mondiali festivities.