Ferrari 296 GTB vs McLaren Artura Review | Supercar Track Battle

foreign supercars they’re the Pinnacle of the automotive world the bedroom pin-up for young girls and boys and the ultimate opportunity for engineers and designers to let their imagination run wild they must be pretty fun loud and whip it fast on both the straights and corners and while today’s supercars are almost unrecognizable from those of 20 years ago our methods of testing them are pretty similar welcome then to Cadwell Park circuit and 2022’s most hyped Supercar pairing the Ferrari 296 GTB and the McLaren Arturo both rear wheel drive both blessed with many hundreds of horses and

both taking advantage of the move to electrification in order to boost both usability and speed for today though we’re only interested in the latter the classic track test may feel old hat in such company but that doesn’t mean it’s not effective and damn good fun to be a part of although in case you do want to know what these cars are like on road then be sure to read the December 2022 issue of car magazine for our verdict for now though we’ll start with the Ferrari not for any particular reason other than the fact it’s

the car I know best we’ve had it on our sports car giant test in North Wales not to mention trying its GTS spider sibling in Italy just a

few weeks ago an 800 brake horsepower rear wheel drive Italian Supercar around one of the narrowest and tightest tracks in the world it’s a Million Miles Away From The Familiar territory of Ferrari’s fiorano test track if the 296 GTB can put a show on here then it really will be the Supercar for any occasion now I’ll try not to bore you too much with facts and figures about

these cars because if you’re watching this video then chances are you’ll know a lot about them already but some things do need highlighting such as with this Ferrari it’s got a 2.9 liter V6 engine teamed with an electric motor and together they make 818 brake horsepower 818 in a road car North to 62 miles an hour is 2.9 seconds nor to 124 miles an hour is just 7.3 and for reference a Formula 2 car does it in 6.6 so it’s only seven tenths of a second slower than a formula two card it’s got apple carplay

and climate control and all the Creature Comforts you want for driving through Miami so what does 818 horsepower feel like in a road car well the honest answer is I can’t really tell you without putting a big fat R rating on this video it hits you like a train for the powertrain you’ve got various modes to use depending on what you want the electric motor and the engine to do if you want it in the fastest possible mode then you need to be in qualifying and that sets everything to maximum attack and Ferrari actually reckons

that you’re getting an extra 40 or so brake horsepower from performance to qualifying mode and with 818 brake horsepower maybe that’s not as noticeable as it should be but it’s still a big chunk of extra power the interaction between the V6 engine and e-motor is utterly seamless the latter is like a more versatile version of nitrous filling in where the engine isn’t quite up to speed and backing it up when it is between the torque the e-motor and the top end power the result is a hard charging bullet train of a car the only way

to accelerate faster is with a catapult sounds pretty good too okay maybe or rather definitely not as good as Ferraris used to but considering the war on great sounding cars Marinello’s done an admirable job notes from the piccolo V12 are fed directly into the cabin via the patented hot tube and they’re worth hearing it’s a Ferrari soundtrack all right just one that’s been played with different instruments talking of different instruments Ferrari still doesn’t use carbon tubs in its mainstream supercars and it isn’t looking like it’s going to change anytime soon there’s a number of reasons

for that they’ll talk about repairability in the fact that their own methods are just as good but what it means is that because McLaren of course are known for their carbon tubs we’ve got two very different approaches we’ve got the aluminum chassis versus McLaren’s carbon tub although admittedly there is an aluminum subframe on the McLaren what’s not up for debate is how well the Ferrari allows you to build up to its full ability yes it’s still intimidating when you first get in but the various systems and manatino modes quickly give you confidence in what is

at the end of the day an unbelievable chassis this car is fitted with the more focused fixed dampers of the aceto fiorano pack and while that makes for a more unforgiving drive on road it more than makes up for it on track in race mode it eggs you on safe in the knowledge that there’s a fallback should things go pear-shaped yet switch everything off and the Raw Talent of the chassis powertrain and driver is there for all to see foreign coming through the mountain what really strikes you is the total lack of inertia over the

front end it makes it feel almost weightless I mean this car weighs over 1.5 tonnes but coming through there it felt like it was flying almost going on right coming into a quicker corner now hard hard on the brakes break feel is utterly superb Break by wire system Ferrari’s done a wonderful job at tuning that hats off to whoever calibrated it in race mode there’s a tiny tiny little bit of push at the front end so it’s just naturally weighted towards a bit of understeer and that’ll actually really lean on it that’s extraordinary that is

unbelievable oh my blood pressure my heart rate everything’s going crazy oh that’s going to be critical if I was going to try and be critical it’s hard but the steering they could there perhaps should be more feel I suspect the McLaren is going to leave it behind in that sector and also the steering wheel all the buttons on it man what’s going on there keep hitting every Button as I’m driving around it’s distracting but other than that this is a masterpiece this is an utter masterpiece and I’m pleased we took it on track because you

need to do both to appreciate it it just has so so much to offer you could spend a whole day here and just build up bit by bit and that’s what I love about it it doesn’t matter whether you’re Louis Capaldi or Lewis Hamilton you’ll still be able to exploit it and enjoy it now on to the McLaren and the first thing to know is that it is down on power compared with the Ferrari together it’s e-motor and 3 liter V6 engine deliver a combined output of 671 brake horsepower down by almost 150. there’s also

a large gap in power to weight as both cars come in at around 1.5 tonnes meaning you’re looking at about 552 brake horsepower for the Ferrari and 454 brake horsepower per tonne for the McLaren that is a big big gap in power but let’s not kid ourselves these are both monumentally quick cars no matter how you measure them he says that this one doesn’t quite have that last layer of light year’s speed to give you an idea of how to set this car up for track it’s very easy actually all you need to do is

change the individual mode selectors you’ve got one for the powertrain like in the Ferrari and one for the sassy and there’s various modes but obviously I’m in track on both and for the powertrain again like the Ferrari that means maximum attack everything focused on giving you the best possible chance of getting a really good lap time and actually the difference between the sport and the track setting is night and day it feels softer more rounded off in the former but in the latter some leaders takes an urgency pill and it really hits home especially the

torque which incidentally isn’t that much different to the Ferrari they’ve both got over 500 pounds foot of torque and this has only got about 10 or 15 pounds foot or so less and it feels it it’s got a really good hit from low down but then when you get above say five thousand five and a half thousand RPM it doesn’t quite crescendo like the Ferrari does that really builds into a peak this in some way if the engine feels quite monotone it doesn’t sound anywhere near as good as the Ferrari but it’s time effective give

some powertrain comparisons I think the gear boxing this it’s not quite as Snappy on the up changes especially as the Ferrari and also we spoke about outright speed well the difference what does that feel like in this you’ve just got that bit more time on the streets to take stock of what you’re doing and when the next corner is coming up and around here that’s not necessarily a bad thing oh my God it’s narrow a lot of people call Cadwell Park the English version of the Nurburgring but I don’t think you’d have GT3 cars going

around here somehow some have suggested that the Arturo could and should sound better than it does it’s a Gruff mechanical sound and it’s not on the same level as the Ferrari but on track that matters little the sound is the supporting act for an engine that while impressive also plays second fiddle to the chassis like all McLarens is what it does between the flat out straights that really stands out for the artera McLaren has gone with a multi-link rear suspension layout rather than the double Wishbone setup of previous road cars the benefit being great toe

stiffness that together with the low center of gravity makes the car even more stable under heavy braking the brakes themselves are carbon Ceramics they’re six piston 390 millimeter at the front four piston 380 at the rear and what’s interesting is that the Ferrari it regenerates the battery under braking it charges the battery and this it doesn’t do that everything is focused towards stopping the car as cleanly as possible and you’ve got to say fair play to McLaren for that because most plug-in hybrids the braking is a big part of how they replenish power but in

this they’re completely abandoned it and you’re probably expecting me to say that that means the brakefield is superior but actually I’m not sure it is and that’s Testament to what Ferrari’s done with their braking system there’s a light point at the start of this pedal and then actually when you do really lean on them you realize that the Ferrari’s brakes are noticeably stronger the steering field are as suspected in this it’s significantly better than the Ferrari you could really feel what the front two wheels are doing in the Ferrari it’s an electric power assisted steering

system in this it’s Electro hydraulic so there’s a bit more of a real connection to the road however the steering on the Ferrari with its assesso fiorano pack is a much much faster rack on the road it feels perhaps a bit too much but out here on the track that’s when it starts to come into its own the McLaren you have to put way more lock on it actually feels in comparison like there’s a light spot around the middle and you’re having to put way more lock on like I am there in the Ferrari that

just required a little flick of the wrist and you were turned in in this you’ve got to give it more and I think that does take away a little bit from the purity we’re getting brake fade as well carbon brakes aren’t quite as robust as the Ferraris either As I push the McLaren more and more two things became clear one its powertrain was outclassed by the Ferrari for sheer excitement and ability and two its overall limits were understandably lower on track than the 296 although this did mean that I was able to reach them sooner

the balance is more front limited yet you can still carry huge speed into Corners knowing that the rear end will stay planted I found myself wanting to squeeze more and more out of it even if I knew that I was going slower than in the Ferrari I will say though that the steering wheel on this the total antithesis to the Ferrari there’s no buttons on it it’s just the wheel and the carbon paddle one piece carbon paddle behind with this lovely gear change action it just feels pure and less distracting which counts for a hell

of a lot coming up to the mountain section hard on the brakes not as late as you can in the Ferrari turn it in really nice grip on the front good stability on the rear in some ways these cars are similar and in others they really do differ especially in feel the Ferrari feels like it’s flying through the air and then it’s just skating over the tarmac in this you really do feel like you’re more hunkered down you feel like you’re sitting lower it feels narrower it feels like the more malleable tool but the Ferrari

definitely has the urge in what it can deliver foreign capabilities just a bit too much does the McLaren let you have more fun I’ve been able to exploit more of it more of the time after a full day on track at Cadwell Park my thoughts on the two cars were clear on paper they share more than a fleeting similarity yet in reality the traits and feel of the McLaren and Ferrari differed considerably The Early Morning Rain suited the shore-footedness and predictability of the McLaren with its more feels some steering and generally less intimidating package making

it the more accessible track weapon when the conditions weren’t ideal however as the tarmac dried and the limits increased the sheer ability and frenetic excitement of the Ferrari Shone through its incredible powertrain outshines the McLarens while the agility and fleet-footed feel even on a track as tight as Cadwell Park bordered on witchcraft we weren’t able to do lap times on the day yet had we have got the stopwatch out the Ferrari would in my opinion have been the faster Machine by a clear margin with all of the above in mind the 296 GTB is the

superior track car however the McLaren’s considerably lower price tag can’t be ignored and leaves clear Headroom for a faster more focused version to come along in future to create the mother of all rematches till then though Marinello takes homeless spoils

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