Ferrari is putting the finishing touches on its second model from the Icona series as the retro-flavoured V12 supercar is supposedly debuting next month. At the same time, the Prancing Horse is prepping a regular production model by chopping off the 296 GTB's roof. Likely to carry the GTS suffix in the same vein as the 812 GTS, the new plug-in hybrid supercar has been spied straight at the factory in Maranello.
Upon noticing the man with the camera, YouTuber Varryx, Ferrari's test driver decided to do some damage control by choosing another factory exit instead of patiently waiting for the barrier to go up and the Opel van to pass. His efforts to lose the cameraman were futile as only five minutes later, the 296 GTS was caught out in the open testing on public roads.
Gallery: Ferrari 296 GTS Spy Photos
To keep the weight low, we're expecting Ferrari’s engineers to install an aluminium roof. In the 812 GTS, the electrically retractable hardtop needs 14 seconds to open while the car is travelling at speeds of up to 28 mph (45 km/h). It goes without saying the 296 GTS will be substantially heavier than its GTB sibling by needing chassis reinforcements commanded by the retractable roof. In the case of the 812 GTS, that car carries around an extra 75 kilograms (165 pounds) compared to its fixed-roof coupe sibling.
It will be interesting to see whether the 296 GTS will get the electrically operated rear screen of its bigger brother in which it can be lowered or raised independently of the roof's position. Beyond the top modifications, Ferrari could give the convertible new wheels and some minor cosmetic tweaks, but we aren't expecting any major changes over the coupe.
Power will be provided by the same V6 plug-in hybrid system with a combined output of 818 bhp (610 kW) and 740 Nm (546 lb-ft) of torque. The weight penalty likely means it'll be a tad slower than the coupe, which hits 62 mph (100 km/h) from a standstill in 2.9 seconds and does the 0-124 mph (0-200 km/h) run in 7.3 seconds before maxing out at over 205 mph (330 km/h).
The official reveal is probably scheduled to take place in the first half of 2022 since Ferrari likely wants to leave a gap of several months between debuts. Provided the new Icona does indeed arrive in November, the 296 GTS could premiere sometime next spring.