5 min read
15 Jan
  • Ferrari's 499P secured a triumphant win at the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans to break Toyota Gazoo Racing's dominating streak.
  • Yifei Ye and Robert Shwartzman are announced as the official drivers for the Ferrari 499P in the 2024 FIA WEC season.
  • Ferrari unveils the track-exclusive 499P Modificata, a more powerful version with enhancements to the engine, electric motor, and the addition of a 'push to pass' feature.
  • Interested buyers must allocate approximately €5.2 million (£4.5 million), granting them entry to Ferrari Sport Prototipi Clienti events.

With less than six months before the 92nd Grand Prix of Endurance, otherwise known as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, we're reminded of last year's losers, winners, and the overall champion - the indomitable Ferrari 499P for AF Corse. There's no other like it in the Ferrari family. 

At the mention of Ferrari hypercar or Ferrari Le Mans, the 499P is the only car that comes to mind. The 2023 Le Mans 24 Hours lived up to expectations with 16 hypercar entries and an intense battle for victory between the main contenders right into the final two hours. 

Ferrari, unsurprisingly Toyota's closest Le Mans rival, faced uncertainties due to pre-event balance of performance changes but managed to beat its competition, even when the #50 car encountered radiator damage and spent five laps in the garage. 

The #51 499P, driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, and Antonio Giovinazzi, maintained its lead over the pursuing Gazoo Racing's #8 GR010 Hybrid until Ryo Hirakawa's aggressive pursuit ended in a wall collision, ultimately gifting Ferrari the much-needed breathing space. 

Ferrari has just recently announced the official Maranello drivers Yifei Ye and Robert Shwartzman, who will get to helm the 499P at the 2024 FIA WEC season. 

Instead of relegating the rest of us to the ignoble position of a jealous bunch, the Italian marque revealed a no-holds-barred, more powerful, track-ready version of the 499P reserved for a deserving few – the €5.2 million Ferrari 499P Modificata. 

See also: Le Mans Hypercars: 2024 In Focus 

What Is The Ferrari 499P?

2023 Ferrari 499P Le Mans racing car.

Ferrari 499P Le Mans racing prototype

A gift to the racing world by Scuderia Ferrari, the 499P is a cutting-edge sports prototype designed for the FIA World Endurance Championship's Le Mans Hypercar category from 2023 onwards. 

Commemorating 50 years since Ferrari's last factory-backed sports prototype competed for an overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 499P pays homage by featuring a special number 50 on one of its models. 

Unveiled at the prestigious Ferrari Finali Mondiali, an annual event celebrating the brand's one-make series called Ferrari Challenge, the 499P made its competitive debut at the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship's opening round, the 2023 1000 Miles of Sebring. 

During its inaugural appearance at the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 499P, piloted by Antonio Giovinazzi, Alessandro Pier Guidi, and James Calado, clinched a spectacular victory. This triumph marked Ferrari's first overall win at Le Mans since the 1965 24 Hours of Le Mans, breaking Toyota Gazoo Racing's five-year victory streak. 

Ferrari 499P's Powertrain And Performance

2023 Ferrari 499P Le Mans hypercar.

Ferrari 499P Le Mans racing car

Crafted under the Le Mans Hypercar regulations, the 499P is notable for its lack of standardized parts, as required to meet the Le Mans Daytona regulations, the very rules it competes against. 

Collaborating with Ferrari's Styling Centre, led by Flavio Manzoni and overseen by Ferdinando Cannizzo, head of Ferrari's sports car engineering department, the 499P’s aerodynamics is as sharp as the best of Ferrari. 

The heart of the car lies in its 2,992 cc (182.6 cu in) twin-turbocharged V6 engine architecture, shared with the Ferrari 296 and its Group GT3 counterpart, the 296 GT3. In a departure from the road-going version, the 499P’s engine serves as a fully stressed unit, undergoing various modifications to adapt to its new role as a stress-bearing component. 

Embracing semi-permanent all-wheel drive, the 499P incorporates an electric motor at the front axle, delivering 200 kW (272 PS; 268 hp) above 190 km/h (118 mph) in adherence to regulations. Yes, the no-limits Modificata is free of this restriction. 

The 499P’s electric motor is linked to a custom 900 V battery pack, rechargeable through Ferrari's proprietary Energy Recovery System (ERS). 

See also: Honda Mourns Brazilian Racing Legend Gil de Ferran – His Early Motorsport Career And Racing Legacy 

The 499P Modificata: A Ferrari Le Mans Hypercar For Sale

2024 Ferrari 499P Modificata.

Ferrari 499P Modificata

There’s exciting news for Ferrari enthusiasts with a penchant for authentic Le Mans prototype racing experiences. 

At the annual Ferrari World Finale event in Mugello, Italy, the company introduced the track-exclusive 499P Modificata – a closed-wheel single-seater, thinly veiled iteration of the hybrid 499P Hypercar renowned for its debut victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2023. 

Shaking free of the boundaries of World Endurance Championship regulations, the 499P Modificata offered Ferrari engineers the freedom to elevate performance to unprecedented levels, unhindered by motorsport restrictions. This grants buyers the opportunity to pilot an even more extreme Ferrari than those flexing muscles on the Le Mans circuit. 

Subtle enhancements to the twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engine result in a power output exceeding 700 hp. The most significant transformation for the 499P Modificata lies in the upgraded electric motor powering the front axle. 

Unlike its Ferrari Le Mans racing counterpart constrained by speed limitations for hybrid system usage, the Modificata breaks free from such restrictions, allowing the all-wheel-drive hybrid hardware to operate at any speed. 

The combined force of the petrol engine and electric motor yields an impressive total output of 870 horsepower. Adding a Formula One-inspired 'push to pass' function, activated via a steering wheel-mounted button, enhances the driving experience. 

Maintaining the carbon fiber monocoque chassis of its racing counterpart, the 499P Modificata cradles its V6 engine in the middle, while its custom Pirelli P Zero tires instill confidence in amateur drivers navigating this exceptional machine. 

See also: 8 Secrets Behind Porsche’s Le Mans Victories And Decades-Long Dominance 

Overview Of The 499P Modificata

2024 Ferrari 499P Modificata overview.

The Ferrari 499P Modificata’s hybrid powertrain combines a mid-rear mounted internal combustion engine with an electric motor on the front axle, delivering a maximum power output of 640 kW (870 cv), mated to a seven-speed sequential gearbox. 

The load-bearing 120-degree twin-turbo V6 engine performs a valuable structural function. The Modificata’s 200 kW (272 cv; 268 hp) electric motor features a differential and Energy Recovery System (ERS), which recharges the battery during deceleration and braking. 

The power unit is complemented by an 800-volt battery pack developed using the company's Formula 1 technology. 

Notably, the 499P Modificata's front-axle activation threshold was adjusted to enable four-wheel drive even at low speeds, providing additional grip and optimizing torque distribution between the axles. 

This Ferrari hypercar features the "Push to Pass" system, which allows the driver to benefit from 120 kW (163 cv; 161 hp) of power in addition to the standard output. 

A Ferrari Hypercar For A Select Few

Ferrari 499P Modificata hypercar price.

The Ferrari 499P Modificata is not for the rich.

If you’re itching to command the wheel of a 499P Modificata, you should be ready to unload approximately €5.2 million (£4.5 million; $5.695 million) before taxes. This sum covers the cost of the car and access to the Ferrari Sport Prototipi Clienti events starting in 2024. 

Trust us, you need to enroll in this program so you can get invitations to exclusive Ferrari track days held at racing circuits worldwide. As you can imagine, the 499P Modificata is neither a daily driver nor road-legal, leaving designated tracks as your best option to unleash the hypercar’s potential. 

Also, the cash secures comprehensive support, covering maintenance, logistics, and technical assistance. 

While Ferrari hasn't disclosed the exact production quantity of the 499P Modificata, we hear the Prancing Horse has no intention of handing over these cars to any bloke with a fat wallet, instead reserving them for the brand’s most esteemed clientele.

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