Ferrari has officially launched the 499P, the sports prototype it hopes will bring a 10th overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans back to Maranello. The iconic Italian automaker has developed a modern challenger for the Le Mans Hypercar category while celebrating the 50th anniversary of its most recent endurance prototype triumph.
The four-wheel-drive Ferrari 499P features a hybrid twin-turbocharged V6 engine, derived from the same internal combustion engine architecture used in the 296 GT3. The 499’s powertrain produces 670 horsepower in total, with the energy recovery system’s electric motor outputting 268 hp (200 kW). Ferrari’s Le Mans Hypercar also draws styling cues from the 296 GT3 and the Daytona SP3. The headlight clusters and the sweeping manta ray front end are clearly inspired by Ferrari’s current road-going models.
Ferrari also wanted to forge a connection between the 499P and the 312 P, its previous factory prototype effort. Ferrari won the 1972 World Sportscar Championship with the 312 P before withdrawing from prototype racing at the end of the season to focus on its uncompetitive F1 team. The 499P name is derived from the 499-cubic-centimeter capacity of each cylinder in its V6 engine, harkening back to the engine-based naming system used by Ferrari in the ‘60s and ‘70s. The Ferrari 499P will also race in a red and yellow livery inspired by the 312 P.
Antonello Coletta, Head of Ferrari Attività Sportive GT, said:
“The 499P is a dream come true. Today is an important moment for all the people who have worked so hard on this project over the past two years. We wanted to pay homage to our history, with many references, both large and small, to a past made up of successes and titles. We do so however, looking ahead, creating a manifesto of our commitment to the world endurance championship. The 499P is a prototype that is decidedly Ferrari, in the fullest sense of the term, and it gives us an enormous thrill to finally show it to our clients and to the many enthusiasts of the marque.”
The Ferrari 499P will makes its competitive debut at the 1000 Miles of Sebring next March and contest the entire FIA World Endurance Championship. The factory team will be operated in collaboration with AF Corse, like Ferrari’s GT program. A driver lineup has yet to be announced, but it is expected that drivers from the GT program will make the step up to prototype racing.