Ferrari 499P Hypercar Is Here To Dominate Le Mans

Motorsport / 11 Comments

Ferrari's latest hypercar isn't one you can buy, but it hopes the 499P will be one that'll dominate motorsport.

Ferrari's Hypercar is now ready. Meet the Ferrari 499P. The name is, of course, inspired by the brand's motorsport history. We uncovered the patent for the name earlier today, and now Ferrari's much-anticipated hypercar is here to match. From 2023, this car will represent Ferrari in the FIA WEC World Endurance Championship.

It'll be sat alongside hypercars from other brands, like Porsche, Cadillac, and more. Like its spiritual predecessor, the 312P, this 499P's name is a hint at its engine displacement; the 499P reportedly derives its name from the displacement of its 2992-cc twin-turbocharged V6. Ferrari says the livery is intended to recall the 312 as well and will debut at the 1000 Miles of Sebring. We'll see many a WEC Hypercar at Sebring this year, and now we know Ferrari will be no exception.

Ferrari Ferrari

Ferrari says its two cars will be numbered 50 and 51, after the brand's winning 312P cars that shared the numbers. As with all cars in this class, the 499 has to meet certain regulations set forth by the FIA, the governing body that presides over the WEC series.

These regs influence everything, from the car's aerodynamics package to its engine, to the way it looks. Here, Ferrari is rather tight-lipped, as all brands have been. Maximum power output is set at 670 horsepower, as with all participating cars. Entrants must also weigh no less than 2,270 lbs.

While Ferrari doesn't reveal exact specs for its powertrain, nor the weight of the car, we can assume it'll be getting as close to the above restrictions as it can.

Ferrari Ferrari

However, we do have some loose technical specs for the powertrain. All cars are hybridized, much like Ferrari's own SF90, with the engine in the middle and an electric motor powering the front axle. Ferrari says the powerplant, a twin-turbo V6, is derived from road-going counterparts. We're taking that to mean the 296 GTB.

Here, the V6 is actually a load-bearing part of the car's structure. At the front, the electric motor produces a maximum of 268 horsepower and even comes with its own differential. That is driven by a battery which is recharged during acceleration and braking.

The battery pack powering this motor is a 900V unit, which is derived from Ferrari's experiences in F1. Let's just hope it's not all of Ferrari's experiences in F1. All that is hooked to a 7-speed sequential gearbox.

Ferrari Ferrari

Ferrari spares no inch of the car's bodywork, using every available surface to create an aerodynamic benefit. Louvers on the arches pull air from around the wheels, feeding it down the body. Even the headlights have a role, and Ferrari says those are intended to recall the Daytona SP3.

The bodywork is strung over a carbon fiber monocoque chassis, with double wishbone pushrod suspension at all four corners. Sat just next to the suspension componentry is Ferrari's brake-by-wire system, which much like its F1 cars, recovers heat energy from the brakes and uses it to charge the car's battery. Then, it can be discharged to the front wheels.

Ferrari Ferrari

As John Elkann, Ferrari's Executive Chairman points out, the 499P is the latest in a long line of dominant Ferrari endurance cars. "We enter this challenge with humility, but conscious of a history that has taken us to over 20 world endurance titles and 9 overall victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans."

Ferrari's own engineers will be present to manage the car on track, though Ferrari does also have a partnership with AF Corse. In 2006, Ferrari and AF Corse won both a driver's and manufacturer's championship with the F430's racing counterpart. On top of that, Ferrari has worked with AF Corse for many years in the FIA GT series.

We'll see more of the Ferrari 499P once the 1,000 Miles of Sebring kicks off on March 18. With any luck, that also means some close racing with other entrants.


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