The overall effect of the subtle makeover gives “an extremely compact cabin effortlessly integrated with the wings and flanks”.
Aerodynamic efficiency and downforce are on a par, too – with Ferrari engineers taking care to ensure the airflow impact of the wing and buttresses is replicated – and there is still an active rear spoiler stowed in the tail, which increases downforce at speed.
The roof itself takes just 14 seconds to open or close at speeds of up to 28mph, splitting into two sections that fold over the front of the engine – “thus maintaining the engine bay’s thermal dissipation characteristics and the balance of the overall design”.
The GTB’s powertrain is carried over wholesale, with the 654bhp 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 paired with a Yasa-sourced, rear-mounted, 164bhp electric motor sandwiched between the engine and the gearbox to take the total outputs to 819bhp and 546lb ft.
That means the 296 GTS gets from 0-62mph in 2.9sec and tops out at more than 205mph – figures that match the hardtop car, despite the convertible weighing 70kg more than the coupé, at 1540kg dry. While it can travel 205mph with the roof down, Turconi said that noise and comfort would diminish somewhat due to the wind above 112mph. It can travel up to 16 miles on electric power only.
Dynamically, the two are very closely related on both road and track driving. Turconi said that it was only really near the “very limit” on the track that the two diverged in their handling and reponses, where the extra weight and stiffness of the GTS would evetually tell.
As with the coupé, the GTS can be specified with the more track-oriented Assetto Fiorano package – named after Ferrari’s Maranello test track – which brings Multimatic adjustable shock absorbers, carbonfibre aero and trim elements and various weight-saving measures, along with high-performance Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tyres.
Turconi said that the package was more than just a series of upgrades, but also opened up bespoke other options to buyers, including paint colours, wheel designs, and liveries.