New Ferrari 296 Spider previewed – hybrid supercar about to lose its lid

Open-top Ferrari 296 Spider to debut for summer with same V6 hybrid powertrain

Like the sunrise after sunset, an open-top variant pretty much always follows a new mid-engined Ferrari, and the new 296 GTB is no exception. Teased on Ferrari’s social media accounts, the image reveals little aside from body highlights surrounding the side intake and windowline, but there is a conspicuously absent roof panel, leading us to suggest that we’re looking at a new open-top variant.

Thanks to a design that lends extremely well to being redesigned without a roof, the new 296 Spider is expected to share pretty much all of its bodywork with the GTB, losing only the already segmented aluminium roof panel while maintaining the upright rear screen and roll hoop. 

This does mean the Spider is likely to be more enclosed than previous mid-engined Spiders – think more Targa than full-blown convertible – but Ferrari might yet surprise us with further changes to the bodywork if more heavy-handed modifications were needed to integrate the folding roof mechanism. There’s also the question of what type of roof Ferrari will employ, as while the previous open-top 458 Spider (and its later 488 and F8 interpretations) utilised a folding hardtop, a return to lighter and more flexible fabric roofs seem to be in vogue across much of the industry.

The package will otherwise mimic the coupe, dominated by a twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6 that’s augmented by a single electric motor sandwiched between it and an eight-speed dual clutch transmission. Peak combined power is rated at 818bhp at 6000rpm, with 546lb ft peaking at a sky-high 6250rpm. 

The usual compromises associated with open-top supercars will no doubt apply here, with the 296’s aluminium structure likely to require some level of extra strengthening on the underbody. This will make the Spider almost certainly weigh more than the 1470kg dry weight of the GTB, but to what extent remains to be seen. 

Otherwise, we have very little specific information other than to say that if it drives anything like the brilliant coupe, the Spider could be quite a car. 

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Categories: Road


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