Ferrari has fully revealed its new Le Mans Hypercar: the 499P, which will return the brand to the world’s greatest motor race for the first time in 50 years in 2023.
Taking on the famous P suffix, the car’s 499 name stands for the cubic capacity of the car's V6 powerplant. That 120-degree engine shares much of its architecture with that in the new 296 GT3, but is an all-new design.
This is the first time the 499P has been seen in public in its full red and yellow livery. Ferrari has already released both images and video of the car, but in a testing camouflage livery.
It will make its racing debut next year, ready for a full season in the World Endurance Championship. The car, built to Le Mans Hypercar regulations, will be ready to compete against fellow Hypercars from Toyota, Peugeot and potentially Glickenhaus. The championship’s balance of performance will also see LMDh cars from Cadillac, Porsche, BMW, Alpine, Lamborghini and potentially Acura race in the same class in both the WEC and at Le Mans.
The 499P was revealed at a glitzy event at Imola to celebrate the Prancing Horse’s long-awaited return to sportscar racing at the top level.
Perhaps the most striking aspects of the car, other than the yellow flashes on the livery, are the heavily rear-canted rear wing endplates, and the very refined design to the central fin. The front also features thin running lights similar to those on Ferrari’s current road cars. The LMH regulations allow that kind of customisation for manufacturers.
The livery is also a throwback to the last time that Ferrari raced at the top level of sportscars. That 312PB raced with Jacky Ickx and Arturo Merzario in a livery of red with yellow flashes.
Two cars will race in the first season, run by AF Corse. One car will race with #50, celebrating the five decades since Ferrari last competed for victory at Le Mans, while the other is set to race as the #51, a number Ferrari GT cars have regularly used.
The car will also be eligible to race in IMSA, but Ferrari has not announced its intentions for the US race series yet. If it does decide to enter it could be on the grid for races including the Daytona 24 Hours and the Sebring 12.