Ferrari is taking the 296 GTB, its first V6-powered model in decades, to the track. Built to pick up where the 488 GT3 left off, the 296 GT3 that will compete in GT events around the world gains a long list of aerodynamic updates while losing the production car's hybrid system.
Sketches published by the Prancing Horse reveal that the GT3 stands out from the production model it's related to in several ways. It gains a full body kit that includes a front splitter that's barely above the ground, canards on either side of the front bumper, reshaped side skirts, and a massive rear wing. Vents cut into the front fenders reduce turbulence in the wheel wells, and there's also a sizeable air diffuser out back.
Center-locking wheels wrapped by Pirelli tires are part of the package as well. While full technical specifications haven't been released yet, Ferrari notes that the 296 GT3 will not use the hybrid system that's fitted to the 296 GTB in order to comply with race regulations. That means the coupe will hit the track with a mid-mounted V6, a configuration that fans are not used to seeing — and hearing — from Ferrari. The engine develops 654 horsepower in the road car, so engineers will likely need to detune it before letting the 296 GT3 loose in competition. For context, the 488 GT3 is powered by a 4.0-liter V8 that makes 600 horsepower in its most powerful configuration.
French racing specialist Oreca has already started building the first examples of the 296 GT3 in Signes, a small town located near the Paul Ricard race track in the south of France. Testing will begin in the coming months, and the car is scheduled to make its racing debut in 2023.