Ferrari Shows Off New Car for Its First WEC Races Since 1973

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

The World Endurance Championship (WEC) is a thrilling series with cars packing the latest tech and automakers from around the world vying for the top spots. Ferrari, whose teams have put up legendary performances in several racing series, recently announced a new car for the upcoming WEC season.

The 499P is a four-wheel drive prototype with a V6 and an energy recovery system capable of producing 268 horsepower on its own. Ferrari derived the car’s hybrid powertrain from the 296 GT3 car, and the V6 forms a structural part of the car. Though purpose-built for the car, its battery uses design and engineering knowledge derived from Formula 1.

Being Ferrari, the car doesn’t just perform well; it looks fantastic. The automaker said it developed the car’s shape from a flat surface, and the body is designed to draw air toward the radiators. The rear features a double wing and multiple air intakes to cool the battery, gearbox, and engine. 

The 499P marks Ferrari’s first race on the WEC since 1973, when it shifted its focus to Formula 1. Ferrari’s first run in the car will come at Sebring International Raceway in Florida this weekend, but the 1,000 Miles of Sebring – its first actual race – happens next week. 

[Images: Ferrari]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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  • Redapple2 Redapple2 on Mar 10, 2023

    I m losing interest in F 1. Growing IMSA.

    • See 1 previous
    • FormerFF FormerFF on Mar 10, 2023

      I gave up watching F1 quite a while ago. My two series now are IMSA and Indycar.

  • Bobbysirhan Bobbysirhan on Mar 10, 2023

    Honda discovered that the 2023 24 hours of Daytona winner was supplying false tire pressure data to IMSA, so they reported them to IMSA. Perhaps Honda wouldn't have done it if the second-place car hadn't also been an Acura, but the team they reported was allowed to keep their win anyway. Sports car racing exists for the participating drivers. Many of them are wealthy rather than talented, and there are classes where driver teams are required to include unqualified drivers to keep the money flowing. F1 has plenty of flaws, but it would be difficult to maintain interest in modern sports car racing.

    I wonder if anyone at Ferrari is being accused of taking their eyes off the ball in F1 in order to field this sports prototype? Their top technical people are dropping like flies already, and Mattias Binotto got the broom at the end of last season.

    • FormerFF FormerFF on Mar 10, 2023

      There are some gentleman drivers in the LMP2, LMP3, and GTD classes, and there are some pros in there as well. In the top classes, they're all pros. The quality of the gentleman drivers has gotten quite good over the last 10 years.

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