Ferrari 499P: Maranello is back in the first WEC class, and here’s LMH Endurance

The Ferrari 499P is the name of the horsepower of the new Le Mans Hypercar, a prototype that Ferrari will return to participate in the FIA ​​WEC World Endurance Championship in the first class. It’ll debut in 2023 and it’s a riot of citations: it arrives 50 years after the last post in 1973, it’s number 50 and will line up alongside a second car with number 51, one of the most lucrative numbers ever.

The name is also an obvious quote: 499 indicates the engine unit’s displacement (2,994 cc for this 3-liter V shape), while the letter P characterizes the Maranello prototypes. his mission? Bringing the team back to victory after 22 world titles and 9 victories in 24 hours of Le Mans.

The first date on the Ferrari 499P racetrack, the spiritual heir to the 312 PB in the 1970s, will be in Sebring, where the supercar will unleash 500 kW in racing for the first time, the result of a collaboration between a twin-turbo 6-cylinder heat engine and an electric motor.

Created in the early 1970s for global sports prototypes and dubbed the 312 PB to distinguish it from the 1969 “No B” model, the last Ferrari to compete in the under-700kW Endurance Championship class, it proposed a tubular chassis supported by aluminum panels and propelled By a flat cylinder V-12 with a displacement of 3.0 liters and 460 hp installed in a longitudinal central position. The maximum speed was 320 km / h.

It’s a car built from a blank slate, but the architecture cannot fail to take advantage of the innovations already seen recently in Ferrari’s world, even on the road where the manufacturer has always brought technical innovations from the track to the road. In this case, the 6-cylinder engine is the same as the enlarged V, at a 120-degree angle, with two turbines positioned between the banks in a manner similar to what was seen in the 296 GTB.

Ferrari 296 GTB, track and road test: V6 returns with hybrid racing |  video

March 07

It is clear that with the 499P engine, which Ferdinando Canizo presented at Imola for the technical part (head of development for Ferrari GT-Trac cars), we find ourselves with a completely different engine, albeit similar in architecture. Being a racing prototype, the centrally positioned six cylinders here assume a load-carrying function and have been redesigned in all of their components due to the power involved.

Ferrari 499P delivers one Maximum ground power 680 hp (500 kW, regulatory limit) Thanks to the road version’s twin-turbo V6 engine, the ERS, hybrid powertrain, can count on energy recovery and a maximum output of 200 kW (272 hp). It works on the electrical system 900 volts.

The power unit consists of a battery placed behind the driver and under the tank: this derives strictly from collaboration with colleagues from Formula 1. Finally, the electric front axle consists of an electric motor, a differential and a single-ratio, which then allows the 499P to travel all-wheel drive above the set speed in category regulations (developed by the FIA ​​and ACO).

With regulation privilege, which defines stable pillars but allows the car to be developed at 100%, Ferrari has opted to produce LMH (short for Le Mans Hypercar). The regulation requires a hybrid engine, all-wheel drive, a single tire (Michelin) and a minimum weight of 1030kg, but leaves room for technicians to create it on the proverbial whiteboard while respecting these risks.

Ferrari has stated that the development of the new LMH from Endurance was done in order to ensure balanced behaviour, obtaining maximum performance with the qualified tyre, while allowing the car to perform well even on worn tires due to the needs of the championship. To date, more than 12,000 kilometers of tests have been carried out, and the program is moving towards completion with the final stage of fine-tuning and integration of the various systems.

Among the technologies, in addition to the aerodynamic interest, we find a carbon-fibre monocoque frame, and push-bar-type telescopic triangles that perfectly integrate with the design of the overhead brake system and brake by wire with energy recovery. Inside, the cockpit was designed so that all the controls were as close as possible to the driver and reduced distractions, as well as ensuring the best visibility at night: to do this, simulation tests were required with all official drivers. Feedback and then drawing the final position of the various elements.

Ferrari’s plans for the 499P anticipate participating in the World Endurance Championship in 2023 with cars number 50 and number 51. After the first year, it is also beneficial for Maranello to take measures against certainly fierce competitors (more experienced Toyota and Porsche), the house will decide whether to open the program Also for special teams with Sporting customers and by numbers.

For special customers, on the other hand, there will be a program in 2023 that will bring Ferrari fans closer to the 499P by sharing experiences in contacting teams and drivers, days on the track and a program with hospitality.

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