Marques Brownlee on... the Ferrari 296 GTB | Top Gear
BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Advertisement feature
Shell V-Power: Fuelling your passions
Saturday 10th June
Marques Brownlee

Marques Brownlee on... the Ferrari 296 GTB

We download YouTube’s #1 tech expert on what he’s been driving

Marques Brownlee on... the Ferrari 296 GTB
  • Ferrari 296 GTB

    Marques Brownlee - Hard Drive - Ferrari 296 GTB

    Hybrid supercars are happening, people. For decades we have been used to large engines and lightweight cars, but we are now entering an era of smaller displacement petrol burners that are supplemented by a little battery and an electric motor or two (or three in the case of the bonkers 986bhp Ferrari SF90). 

    This is the Ferrari 296 GTB – the SF90’s smaller, friendlier brother, which has a paltry 818bhp going to the rear wheels alone. There’s an all-new combustion engine at its heart too – a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 that makes 663bhp on its own. 

    The extra 165bhp of electric boost brings two major advantages. The first is the performance advantage, because the electric motor fills in any torque gaps left by the turbo’d V6. And it really does work – the 0-62mph time of 2.9 seconds proves that. The second advantage is that you get between 10 and 15 miles of all-electric range if you charge it up. So, if you’re pulling out of your driveway at 8am in a bright red Ferrari, you don’t have to be that annoying neighbour who wakes up the whole street with a cold start. Pull away in ‘eDrive’ mode and you can whisper out to the nearest good road or highway where you can transform into a proper combustion supercar once again.

    Advertisement - Page continues below
  • Marques Brownlee - Hard Drive - Ferrari 296 GTB

    GOOD - surround sound

    It sounds fantastic, brilliant job. Ferrari nicknamed the V6 the ‘piccolo V12’ (little V12) because of its distinct sound. It’s a fantastic drive too – the direct steering and short wheelbase make it feel so light and agile. 

    BAD - look at me

    It’s obviously subjective but I’d like it to look a little more dramatic. Especially when it has over 800bhp on tap. I’m not a huge fan of any of the wheel designs either. 

  • Ferrari 296 GTB

    GOOD - storage king

    You might not expect it, but the 296 GTB also has a big front trunk that makes it quite practical. You can fit two full size duffle bags in there whereas in the SF90 you’ll struggle to get a single backpack in. 

    BAD - flair style

    The rather imposing stripe down the car is part of the £25,000+ Assetto Fiorano package which also adds some extra aero bits, lots of carbon fibre, fancy Multimatic dampers and a polycarbonate engine cover. That’s a whole lot of cash, though. 

    Advertisement - Page continues below
  • Marques Brownlee - Hard Drive - Ferrari 296 GTB

    GOOD - self-centred

    I love how everything is so driver-focused in the cabin. The display in front of you includes all you need to know and it all feels very purposeful. 

    BAD - touchy subject

    Can someone please tell Ferrari buttons are better than capacitive touch areas. There are way too many touch sensitive functions in the 296 GTB. It’s incredibly annoying. 

  • Marques Brownlee - Hard Drive - Ferrari 296 GTB


    Samsung X5 SSD hard drive. We have these in the studio. They’re hard to get, the fastest SSDs I’ve ever used and they’re also bright red and very expensive. 


    I had reservations, but it blew me away. The performance is incredible. The brakes have so much bite and it doesn’t feel heavy. Drive it and you’ll understand why Ferrari took this direction.

    THE DRIVE: 9.5/10

    THE TECH: 7/10

    THE WANT: 8/10

More from Top Gear

See more on Marques Brownlee

Promoted Content

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

BBC TopGear

Try BBC Top Gear Magazine

Get your first 5 issues for £5