The 499P: Meet Ferrari’s beautiful new Le Mans hybrid prototype

Ethel Walsh
The nose of a Ferrari 499P prototype
Enlarge / Following 50 years away, Ferrari is making a functions endurance prototype yet again.


IMOLA, ITALY—After a crack of 50 several years, Ferrari is returning to top-amount stamina racing with a new hybrid prototype race car or truck. It can be known as the 499P, and in 2023 Ferrari will marketing campaign a pair of cars and trucks in the Earth Endurance Championship, a series with the 24 Hrs of Le Mans as its crown jewel.

As I’ve penned just before, 2023 is heading to be an thrilling time for admirers of prototype racing. Just after the cubic megabucks-era of LMP1h collapsed under the body weight of unsustainable budgets, the prime class of the Planet Stamina Championship has invested a several yrs in the doldrums as Toyota faced minimum opposition from a great deal smaller teams. But the Auto Club de l’Ouest (which operates the Le Mans race) has a new ruleset now, named LMH (Le Mans Hypercar), created to draw in the fascination of automakers by holding expenditures sane—€30 million vs . the €80-200 million that LMP1h cost—and, with much less reliance on aerodynamic downforce, allowing for a closer visual connection to their road-heading products and solutions.

The 499P might be the prettiest LMH car to date. You'll detect styling cues from cars like the new 296 GTB at the nose.
Enlarge / The 499P could possibly be the prettiest LMH automobile to date. You’ll detect styling cues from cars and trucks like the new 296 GTB at the nose.

And so significantly, it’s doing the job. Toyota was first to LMH with its GR010, adopted by boutique company Glickenhaus, then this year noticed Peugeot relieve its way back into to endurance racing with its new 9X8—still not sporting a rear wing—ahead of a comprehensive marketing campaign in 2023. But none of individuals models have very the exact same magic as Ferrari. Even while it past received Le Mans outright in 1965, it nonetheless has a lot more of these all round wins (nine) than Toyota (5) and Peugeot (3) blended, trailing just Audi (13) and Porsche (19).

The reality that the new ruleset has introduced Ferrari back again to the activity means it really should be viewed as a achievement previously, while the Components 1 price tag cap may possibly have performed a portion as the company uncovered itself with methods it could no for a longer time hire in the direction of that championship.

Sorry, but this is about to get sophisticated

Now, it would not seriously be sportscar racing if it wasn’t needlessly complicated, and so in addition to LMH, you can find an additional new ruleset for hybrid prototype stamina race cars prepared for the Worldwide Motor Sporting activities Association’s championship in this article in North The united states named LMDh.

LMDh is a lot more technically proscriptive every single automaker is needed to use 1 of 4 authorised carbon fiber chassis or spines as their setting up stage, and the gearbox, electrical motor, and battery are all spec parts. But like LMH, there’s a great deal much less reliance on aerodynamic downforce and so the cars can search far more like the kinds you may possibly come across in a showroom. It much too has worked, with new cars racing in 2023 from Porsche, BMW, Acura, and Cadillac. Audi’s planned return has been shelved in favor of a Formulation 1 application, but Lamborghini will get there in 2024.

Two competing sets of sportscar regulations usually is effective out terribly for everybody, but happily in this case the ACO and IMSA are permitting each LMH and LMDh vehicles to enter their races, with general performance balancing to assure as degree a enjoying field as probable.

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