The 296 GTB has lost its electric motor and license plate for a pure gasoline race car derivative.
As emissions regulations get stricter in many parts of the world, it’s getting trickier for automakers to launch performance cars powered exclusively by an internal combustion engine. Even elite, low-volume players such as Ferrari have no other way but to electrify, hence why recent Prancing Horses created in Maranello are equipped with a hybrid powertrain. The 296 GTB happens to be one of them, along with its convertible version, the 296 GTS.
However, this 296 Challenge rocks a pure V6 setup without any hybrid assistance since we're dealing with a thoroughbred race car. By doing away with the license plate, Ferrari doesn't have to worry about meeting emissions regulations since the car will compete in the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli. It's the ninth model developed for this competition and it supersedes the 488 Challenge Evo introduced for the 2020 racing season.
At the heart of the 2024 Ferrari 296 Challenge is the familiar twin-turbo, 3.0-liter engine that does away with the hybrid component, much like the 296 GT3 launched for the 2023 season. By not having to abide by strict rules mandatory for road cars, the engineers uncorked the V6, and it now pumps out a massive 700 horsepower and 546 pound-feet (740 Newton-meters) of torque. In the race car, the six-cylinder mill churns "only" 663 hp but the overall output is much higher thanks to the electric motor, providing a combined punch of 830 hp.
With 234 horsepower per liter, Ferrari is proud to say the engine delivers record power for its segment. The new 296 Challenge is the first race car to use a 120-degree V6 in the history of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli. With great power comes great responsibility, which is why the track-only machine boasts carbon-ceramic brakes, an upgraded ABS system derived from the 296 GTB, and new Pirelli 19-inch tires specifically developed for this application.
Then there's the aerodynamic package, helping the 296 Challenge generate more than 870 kilograms of downforce at 155 mph (250 km/h), a record number for a race car developed for the single-make series.
Ferrari will show off its latest track beast in Italy at the Mugello Circuit between October 24 and 30 when the Finali Mondiali is scheduled to take place.
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