We think we've stumbled across the name of Ferrari's Le Mans hypercar ahead of its reveal tomorrow.
The excitement for the 2023 season of the World Endurance Championship is only building more with each passing week and each new development. We've already been shown BMW's entrant, which is actually one of the German automaker's best-looking creations of the past five years, but most automakers have kept the designs of their Le Mans hypercars secret for the time being, including Lamborghini. Ferrari has also given us very little information so far, but we have caught a prototype testing at Monza in full camouflage ahead of its reveal tomorrow, October 30.
Thanks to a trademark uncovered by CarBuzz at the UIBM, Italy's trademark office, we may know the name of the car early: the Ferrari 499P.
How do we know that this new trademark applies to the Le Mans hypercar? To be frank, we don't, but it makes a lot of sense. The P suffix at the end of past Ferrari race cars stood for "prototipo," or prototype, so this name fits. But what of the 499 part of the name? This could mean anything, but it is certainly not random. For example, the Ferrari 296 GTB gets its name from the 2.9-liter V6 engine that powers it, while the Ferrari 599 was so named for its 5,999 cc (6.0-liter) displacement. Potentially, Ferrari could be fitting a 5.0-liter twin-turbo V6 into its car, although this sort of capacity seems more suitable for a V8.
But we have a more suitable theory.
Ferrari will be entering the LMH category rather than the LMDh category, which means that a hybrid system is optional. Power output may not exceed 500 kilowatts (670 horsepower), so it's also possible that the name refers to power output. The configuration of the engine does not matter - you could run a naturally aspirated V12, a twin-turbo V8, a hybrid V6, or whatever you like, so long as it is not powered by diesel.
We'll have to wait for tomorrow's reveal at Imola to learn more, but regardless of what the name means, the addition of the letter P at the end of the name is brimming with nostalgia and we hope that Ferrari can make the most of this. Ferrari is looking to secure its tenth overall victory at Le Mans in the race's 100th year. 2023 will also be the 100th anniversary of Enzo Ferrari winning his first-ever Grand Prix as a driver with Alfa Romeo.