Currently reading: New Ferrari 499P makes track debut in official video
Italian manufacturer returns to Le Mans next year with a twin-turbo V6 engine derived from the 296 GT3

Ferrari has unveiled its all-new 499P Le Mans Hypercar with which it will bid for overall victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours next season, for the first time in exactly 50 years.

The world’s most famous sports car maker gave the historic new model its world debut at Ferrari’s Finali Mondiali extravaganza at Imola, revealing a prototype that features a clear nod to its endurance racing past as well as a styling connection to its current road cars.

Two 499Ps will be entered by the factory Ferrari AF Corse team in the 2023 World Endurance Championship, which incorporates Le Mans. The model will make its racing debut at the 1000 Miles of Sebring in Florida on March 17.

The name follows Ferrari tradition from past Le Mans contenders, 499 referring to the displacement of its V6 twin-turbocharged engine, with P standing for Prototype – an echo of its last factory endurance racer, the 312P of 1973. The yellow stripe incorporated in the livery is also a nod to the iconic sports racer.



Ferrari has built the car to LMH regulations rather than the parallel LMDh rulebook chosen by the likes of Porsche to ensure the 499P is a true in-house Ferrari. The more economically-friendly and simple LMDh formula relies on a spec hybrid system supplied by Williams Advanced Engineering and Bosch, with an Xtrac gearbox, whereas the battery technology in Ferrari’s bespoke 900v, 200kW Energy Recovery System (ERS) connected to the front axle has been developed from the experience learned within the company’s Formula 1 team. Balance of Performance will be used to limit overall power to 500kW (670bhp) across both codes of Hypercar.

“We chose LMH because it is important for Ferrari to make all the car and all the parts,” said endurance racing chief Antonello Coletta. “Ferrari is a constructor, the manufacturer of the car and for us it is not our philosophy to buy a part. We decided to come back into prototypes when the rules gave us the chance to make all the car. This car is a manifesto of the technologies of Ferrari.”

Ferrari 499 2023 interior through door

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The six-cylinder engine, a load-bearing element in the 499P, is based on the architecture of the unit in the 296 GT3, which was also on show at Imola as the racing evolution of the 296 GTB road car. “Of course, each part is developed and it is completely different to the engine of the street car,” said Coletta. “But this is the base of our philosophy: all the experience of our six cylinder road cars has been the base of this engine. 

“This is important for us. We have come back into prototypes, into the maximum category, but we have not forgotten that it is a laboratory for the street cars. This link is very important for us.”

A brake-by-wire braking system has been developed to allow the recovery of kinetic energy from the front axle to the ERS. Power will be fed through a seven-speed sequential gearbox.

Ferrari’s return to the premier division of sports car racing coincides with a boom in manufacturer interest at Le Mans and in the endurance scene. In 2023 the Prancing Horse will face the well-established Toyota Gazoo Racing squad, which has won the previous five Le Mans, the radical Peugeot 9X8 which has already taken its bow in the WEC this season, plus new LMDh challengers from Porsche and Cadillac. The American-owned Glickenhaus team might also return with its 007 LMH contender, although its continued participation in the WEC has yet to be confirmed. Meanwhile, more LMDh contenders from the likes of Alpine, BMW and Lamborghini are on their way to Le Mans for 2024.

John Elkann, Ferrari’s executive chairman, said: “The 499P sees us return to compete for outright victory in the WEC series. When we decided to commit to this project, we embarked on a path of innovation and development, faithful to our tradition that sees the track as the ideal terrain to push the boundaries of cutting-edge technological solutions, solutions that in time will be transferred to our road cars. We enter this challenge with humility, but conscious of a history that has taken us to over 20 world endurance titles and nine overall victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”

Coletta played down expectations of a 10th Le Mans win for Ferrari first time out in 2023, while admitting the team had to be targeting ultimate success for what will be the 100th anniversary edition of the French classic. “We are ambitious of course, but we are also humble to know our competitors are more experienced than us with these cars,” he said. “We have less time than our competitors because we started testing in July 2022. The time for testing is not a lot, but we go ahead very fast and we hope to be ready for Sebring which is a special circuit and is not easy.

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Ferrari 499 2023 rear quarter static

“Of course the pressure is important and it is a lot. It is normal that when Ferrari competes in a category people expect to see Ferrari in front of the others. We have created a very good car, but we are delayed in respect of the other manufacturers. First of all we need to be consistent and reliability I think will be the most important result we need to have, and after, of course, speed on the track. We can compete with the other manufacturers, with success I hope. We have put all our best into this car.”

The team has two 499Ps up and running for testing, one of which was the car on show at Imola. Previously captured in spy shots painted in camouflage, 12,000km have already been logged. “It is important to have two for fast development of the car,” said Coletta. 

Ferrari chose not to announce its driver line-up at Imola, although Coletta reiterated the team will be formed by those already part of its GT racing “family”. That includes Britain’s James Calado, who looks almost certain to be a part of the 499P attack. But superstar additions from the world of Formula 1, including Ferrari’s grand prix stars Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr, appear highly unlikely – at least for 2023.

“I understand the curiosity in this matter,” said Coletta. “But I repeat that the choice of Ferrari will be from within the Ferrari family. We have very consistent and many drivers, so 100% the choices will be in-house. At the end of the year or the first day of next year the decision will be taken.”

The team that will run the 499Ps is an amalgam of AF Corse’s long-established GT squad and factory staff. Beyond 2023, Ferrari is open to selling cars to customer teams, as Porsche is already doing with its LMDh 963.

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david RS 30 October 2022
Where is the na v12 ?
Peter Cavellini 30 October 2022

All sounds like they've got a good Car, but, is the team good?, the F1 team have a great Car, but their organisational skills are a bit off.

Stockholm Calling 30 October 2022

This effort is being run by AF Corse who have run the Ferrari GT programme at Le Mans for years, so the answer to your question Peter is yes. 

Peter Cavellini 30 October 2022
Stockholm Calling wrote:

This effort is being run by AF Corse who have run the Ferrari GT programme at Le Mans for years, so the answer to your question Peter is yes. 

Thanks for the info!,I hope they do well.