After a long wait, Ferrari has finally unveiled its new Le Mans Hypercar to compete next year in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). The squad from Maranello have chosen the name “499P” to echo a nomenclature that has been in use for decades. “499” refers to the capacity in cubic centimeters of each cylinder while “P” represents the prototype. At the heart of the electrified engine is a 3.0-liter V6 with a pair of turbochargers.
Although the six-cylinder factory has the same 120-degree architecture as the engine used by the 296 GTB/GT3, Ferrari tells our sister site Motorsport.com it’s “not the same machine.” Leading the design and development department of the Ferrari Attivita Sportive GT sports car racing department, Ferdinando Cannizzo said the engine was structurally different and the V6 was chosen because it was light and compact.
The center-rear combustion engine develops a maximum output of 680 horsepower (500 kilowatts) to comply with regulations. It works in conjunction with a front-mounted electric motor with 272 hp (200 kW) that draws the required power from the F1-derived 900 volt battery, which is recharged during deceleration and braking. The powertrain is connected to a seven-speed sequential transmission and is limited to a combined output of 680 hp (500 kW).
Unveiled at the Ferrari Finali Mondiali in Imola, the 499P features the Daytona SP3 design cues along with a red hue with yellow accents as a flashback to the 312PB in the early 1970s. Both cars will carry race numbers #50 and #51, with the former representing half a century since the Prancing Horse last competed in the top-flight race at Le Mans. The latter is a prolific number used by Ferrari race cars in GT racing.
The 499P has carried out more than 7,500 miles (12,000 kilometers) of testing with two prototypes and will be fully homologated before the end of the year. His motorsport debut is scheduled to take place in mid-March 2023 during the inaugural WEC round at Sebring 1000 Miles.