FERRARI IS BACK WITH A BANG: THE 499P IS HERE AND READY FOR THE 2023 FIA WEC
“The red cars are Ferraris. One story that’ll never get old and it’s time to write some new history.” As apt and as poignant as the car itself, this is the key message taken from the launch video for the epic new LeMans contender to come from Maranello. The Ferrari 499P is here, and it has World Endurance Championship silverware firmly in its sights.
The name evokes the brand’s history with the ‘P’ identifying a prototype and the numerical values referring to the engine’s unitary displacement. The 499P is the outcome of the rising legendary Italian marque. Achieving 22 world titles and 9 overall wins in the 24 Hours of LeMans, Ferrari has created a hypercar that has its sights set firmly on the future.
Design-wise, the 499P took direction from Ferrari’s Flavio Manzoni, and was crafted with wind-cutting abilities at the forefront. Its technical and aerodynamic features reflect the Ferrari DNA of simple, sinuous shapes. The latest LMH rules have allowed Ferrari to create something that is instantly recognisable as a Ferrari.
Architecture is clear cut and proudly defines the balance between edgy lines and smooth surfaces. Air is channeled cleverly through the side pods and over the recesses between the main ridges surrounding the cabin where it cools the radiators hidden behind the bodywork.
Looking at the car from the rear allows you to see the ultimate expression of how Ferrari have blended technology, aerodynamics, and design. A subtle Carbon Fibre skin sits over the top of various functions, but the wheels and suspension are completely exposed – epic!
The livery on the 499p takes inspiration from the 1970’s 312p and will proudly wear the number ‘50’ to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of the return to the top class, World Endurance Championship. The second car will wear ‘51’ which is a symbolic number for Ferrari in GT racing. The Italian marque have said that the 499p is a manifesto to their commitment to endurance racing.
Powertrain comes in the form of a hybrid system that combines a mid-rear engine with an electric motor powering the front wheels – a now widely-recognised formula to enable ultimate performance. The combustion unit shares its core DNA with the 296 GT3 car and is derived from the incredibly well received, road-going twin-turbo V6 family. Total power output is 500KW (around 670bhp).
The electric motor at the front of the car is equipped with a differential and is driven by a regenerative battery that harnesses power during deceleration and braking – therefore no external power output is necessary!
The bespoke-built 499p gets a new carbon-fibre monocoque, unique pushrod suspension and is a very welcomed addition to the 2023 LMH World Endurance Championship. Get your calendars marked for March 2023, the first outing for the 499p will be at Sebring and we’ll be tuning in.