You can't race Ferrari's £4.4m track car – but you do get 200hp more than the Le Mans racer and 'free' tyres
By Cam Tait / Saturday, 28 October 2023 / Loading comments
This was inevitable, wasn’t it? After nabbing its first outright victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Ferrari has announced a customer version of its victorious 499P prototype for its mega-rich Clienti to rag around some of the world’s greatest and most storied race tracks.
Announced at the end-of-term Finali Mondiali Ferrari fest, the 499P Modificata is essentially a carbon copy of the Le Mans-winning prototype, right down to the outlandish aero package and minuscule cockpit with just enough space for the driver. It does, however, have even more power than the Le Mans car. A lot more, actually. While the racing version is restricted to a maximum combined power output of 671hp, the Modificata is free to run at flat chat. That looks like a combined 707hp from the 296 GTB-derived 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 engine and a 272hp front-mounted hybrid system. That’s right – it’s faster than the Le Mans car.
And it gets even faster, because the 499P Modificata has a trick up its sleeve. Ferrari has developed an F1-style push-to-pass system, which unlocks an extra 163hp from the hybrid system for a seven-second boost per activation. That brings the total output up to 870hp for a good chunk of any given lap. Of course, you need enough juice in the battery to unlock the extra grunt, and the throttle needs to be fully compressed for the system to active. But go hard or go home, right?
What’s especially mental is that all that power can be accessed from the moment you hit the accelerator, whereas the Le Mans car can only deploy its hybrid energy above 123mph under the current hypercar regs. In fact, the Modificata is so fast that Ferrari has created a new category in its Corse Clienti programme for it. Well, sort of. Given that it’s currently the only car in the ‘Sport Prototype’ class, the Modificata will be lumped in with the Formula 1 cars on its exclusive track days. It’s a non-competitive category, technically speaking – though owners surely compare times at the end of the session. Who wouldn’t?
Speaking of owners, Ferrari says it’s tweaked the 499P’s cockpit design to make it a little easier for drivers to get in and out of, though truthfully it looks just as cramped as the endurance racer. Most of the design has been carried over from the racing car, including the space-age steering wheel and digital rear-view mirror, along with the fixed seating position with its adjustable pedal box. Meanwhile, the competition-spec Michelin tyres have been dropped for a set of bespoke Pirellis. Yes, Ferrari is best buds with the Italian tyre firm, but the new compound is designed to be easier to bring up to temperature and last longer. Because nothing kills the mood quite like excessive tyre management.
Onto the matter of payment. The select few who have been invited to purchase a 499P Modificata will be met with a bill of – wait for it – €5,100,000 (or roughly £4,400,000). And that’s before taxes, too. Obviously, it’s for Ferrari’s most loyal and absurdly loaded clienti, and that figure does include a two-year entry into Corsa Clienti with tyres and servicing thrown in. Just don’t go trying to enter it as a privateer at next year’s Le Mans; Ferrari says it can’t be done. Didn’t say anything about a road conversion, though…
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