Novitec turns its hand to the 296 GTB
Ferrari's finest doesn't need any more power, but when did that ever stop Novitec?
By Matt Bird / Monday, 20 March 2023 / Loading comments
As cars become ever more complex, so the task presented to the aftermarket becomes more challenging. Where once an ECU was the most difficult nut to crack, they’re now having to deal with multiple control units, hybrid assistance and the simple fact that many people don’t actually own their cars. It’s braver folk than us that start meddling with leased cars…
Anyway, the level of tech in a new supercar might explain why Novitec’s upgrades for Ferrari’s sublime 296 GTB are – for the moment, at least – pretty minor. There’s no meddling with the MGU-K hybrid element or even tweaking the superb new twin-turbo V6; those with experience of the car might suggest there’s no need to change anything, even if you could. Instead the focus is on cosmetic upgrades and a new high performance exhaust. Sometimes there’s no beating the old ways.
Better breathing on a car as heavily turbocharged as the 296 GTB was always going to yield results but, even so, another 38hp is a sizeable gain from a set of pipes. So, yes, this is an 868hp series production Ferrari berlinetta, with more in the works. How much do people want from a rear-wheel drive Ferrari?! Perhaps that’s a debate for another day. Certainly we can all be in agreement that Novitec’s work has been a success – the 296 sounds superb. Not that the ‘piccolo V12’ 2.9 didn’t before, but now it’s really got the timbre of a larger engine with more cylinders.
Furthermore, while grey with black wheels is never going to show a car off to its best, it’s easy to see why some 296 customers might be tempted by Novitec’s wheels, springs and spacers. It’s not for the purists, and there will be hex placed on you by Ferrari’s Classiche department, but a car as deftly designed as the GTB was always going to benefit from being a bit lower and drawing attention to those gorgeous rear haunches. The reality only proves the point.
Everything currently available, from exhaust to wheels, can be finished in pretty much any colour the customer desires, and all the new bits are available to order now. Heaven knows where this thing will end up if Novitec starts changing turbos and the like. Those happy with just the V12 tribute act and twice the power of a V8 M3 might want to head to the classifieds for a 296 to get started with – this one even matches the Grigio Scuro and Giallo Asseto Fiorano spec…
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