Ferrari announces entry to Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) programme

2023 is going to be a good year. The FIA World Endurance Championship and North American IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will have a new class open to Hypercars with a hybrid powertrain.

Porsche has announced that it is working towards having a racing prototype for the 2023 season as has Audi, Honda and most recently the team that every racing Championship wants – Ferrari.

Following a period of study and analysis, Ferrari has kicked off the development of the new LMH car to include in recent weeks the design and simulation phases.

Fifty years after its last official participation in the premier class of the World Sports Car Championship in 1973, Ferrari will take to the track in the Hypercar class of the FIA World Endurance Championship, which it proactively helped to establish.

Ferrari President John Elkann commented: “In over 70 years of racing, on tracks all over the world, we led our closed-wheel cars to victory by exploring cutting-edge technological solutions: innovations that arise from the track and make every road car produced in Maranello extraordinary. With the new Le Mans Hypercar programme, Ferrari once again asserts its sporting commitment and determination to be a protagonist in the major global motorsport events”.

It will be fantastic to see these might manufacturers battling it out for an overall win at Le Mans again.

Ferrari 488 GTE AF Corse #51 by Lego

If movie memorabilia like the Ghostbusters ECTO 1 doesn’t cut it for your Lego building days, Lego has recently revealed a new motorsport inspired set – Ferrari’s 488 GTE “AF CORSE #51” based on the race car that tackles the world’s endurance races. It is the first Lego model to be designed with Ferrari and helps extend its long standing relationship.

The Lego model is 48cm long with 1,677 individual Lego technic pieces, for ages 18+. The beautiful model features front and rear suspension, aerodynamic curves, a V8 engine with moving pistons and a steering wheel emblazoned with the Prancing Horse badge to help the model truly come alive. Original race number #51, sponsor stickers and the authentic Tricolore paint job add the perfect finish to this epic model.

The Ferrari 488 GTE will be available in all Lego stores and online on January 1st (so don’t go spending all that Christmas money your nan gives you until then) at a price of £169.99.

Ferrari reveals SF90 Spider

Ferrari has cut the roof off its most powerful model – the SF90 Stradale. Now dubbed the SF90 Spider, the plug-in hybrid model comes with a retractable hard top that can retract and deploy in 14 seconds when on the move.

Considered to be 40kg lighter than normal retractable hard tops, and only uses 100 litres of boot space when stowed away versus the traditional 150-200 litres.

As with the rest of the car, it is pretty much the same as the Stradale – a 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 with 780hp and 800Nm supported by three electric motors bringing the combined figure up to around 1,000hp. Top speed is 211mph and it will hit 62mph in 2.5 seconds.

Ferrari Omologata, a one-off

Ferrari has revealed a one-off model based on an 812 Superfast, known as the Omologata. This is the 10th one-off Ferrari has made with a V12 model and is said to be a clear descendent of Ferrari’s great GT tradition spanning seven decades of history.

Commissioned for a ‘discerning European client’, the project took a little over two years to complete from initial sketches to the hand over. Using the base 812, only the windscreen and headlights were kept from the existing bodywork, the rest of the Omologata was crafted in a way that it oozed street presence whilst maintaining a very pure formal language.

Painted in a triple layer Rosso Magma over darkened carbon fibre, it also has a new paint colour, one used for the livery – a new shade of red, which unfortunately doesn’t have a name.

Inside, the tributes to Ferrari’s racing past are on show, the electric blue seats, finished in a combination of leather and Jeans Aunde fabric with 4-point racing harnesses, stand out against a full black interior. Metal parts on the dashboard and steering wheel are finished with the crackled paint effect associated with GT racers of the 1950s and 1960s as well as with Ferrari’s engine cam covers. A hammered paint effect so often used in cars such as the 250 LM and 250 GTO finds its way on details such as the inner door handles and on the Ferrari F1 bridge.

Is a Classic car the way forward?

For many car spotters, pictures of videos of the newest metal is what gets the camera phone out and Instagram likes. But in most cases, they are the only people who appreciate and follow  a new supercar. Take central London in the summer as an example. Hoards of Arab registered supercars flock to the capital and flaunt their wealth and questionable style. Residents in the area despise this time of year, with high revving V8, V10 and V12 engines smashing through the silence of the night with their flame spitting exhausts to impress the car paparazzi. Now, police in the area are trying to kerb this enthusiastic driving with on the spot fines for revving or dangerous driving.

Evidence of this hate can be seen here when a woman is egged in her Ferrari.

6339254_359ea4375c5ca0bb750a417fc3960aea_wmWith a modern supercar, there is always a risk of someone deciding it’s a good idea to sit on the bonnet or plank on the roof for a photo.

With a Classic car, there is very little negative connotation. Merely admiration and smiles from people everywhere. A burbling V12 isn’t a noise complaint but an orchestra. It brings smiles to people’s faces. Cars of the bygone era just look cooler and demand respect. Could it be because it reminds people of a simpler time when they were children staring up at their bedroom wall dreaming of owning that streamline car driven by their gentlemanly heroes?

An added benefit is that these cars are appreciating assets. Owning a classic supercar can make you money. The evidence can be seen with practically every classic Ferrari. Take the Daytona as an example. In early 2010 Hagerty valued the car at a modest $371,000. Today that value has sky-rocketed to over $850,000.

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It is understandable that not everyone has that amount of money just burning a hole in their pocket. The key is to find the cars that have bottomed out and will not depreciate further and are now on the way up. Most recently, on a trip to RM Sotheby’s London auction a 911 GT2 sold for a massive £1.8 million pounds while a 2.7 RS barely made it past half that. Is this a sign that people who loved older cars either already have them and that now the ‘new money’ is working at buying the cars they dreamed of owning as kids?

 

Ferrari 488 Spider revealed

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Say hello to the most powerful rear-engined V8 convertible. The 488 Spider. Not long ago we were swooning over the curves of its fixed head sibling,  the 488 GTB, which was the first rear-engined turbo-charged V8 since the F40.

Ferrari has given us a glimpse of what this car will look like with some serious sets of numbers. Powered by the same engine as the GTB,a 3902cc turbocharged V8 pushing 670hp and 760Nm helping this stallion gallop to 62mph in 3 seconds flat and to 124mph in a little under 9 seconds.  Being turbo-charged, the Luddites will moan about turbo lag and why N/A engines perform and sound better. Ferrari say that turbo lag on this 488 Spider is only 0.8 seconds and the sound of the engine is ‘seductive but never invasive’. The other supercar with those kinds of numbers is the already sold out McLaren 675 Long-Tail with 675hp and 699Nm.

The 488 Spider is considered as the most aerodynamically efficient Ferrari Spider to date thanks to some complex aero which not only reduce drag but guarantee the best levels of downforce. Another number for you all. 14 seconds. That is the time it takes to let in the sunshine or cower away from the rain clouds.

 

Much like the 458 Spider, the 488 Spider has the second generation of Ferrari’s Slide Slip Angle Control system which will encourage you to push the car harder through corners resulting in a 12% quicker acceleration than its predecessor out of corners.

Ferrari models do look good in other colours than Red and these pictures show just that. Blu Corsa is the name and it will be readily available on the 488 Spider. No prices have been announced just yet, but expect it to compete with the McLaren for price.

Ferrari IPO on NY Stock Exchange

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For a while now, people have known that Ferrari as a brand and as a manufacturer were to float on the stock exchange. When it comes to stocks, car makers tend not to do as well as many other brands such as Apple or Twitter, but this is where Ferrari has pulled a few tricks out of the bag.

Ferrari is a luxury car manufacturer, based in Maranello, Italy, partly owned by parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) which is doing its best to reduce its 8.6 billion euro debt. FCA Global headquarters are based in London after the group was merged into a Netherlands based holding company and then listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Confusing right?

govSostFCA want to offer Ferrari as a separate entity by presenting an initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange in the coming days. What is interesting here is that Ferrari won’t be listed as a car manufacturer but as a maker of luxury goods. With cars ranging from £150,000 up to a £1 million they clearly can be considered as luxury goods. This allows Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive to value Ferrari in the region of 10 billion euros.

When the brand is submitted only 10% will be offered for public sale.  10% of the shares are to be held by Enzo Ferrari’s son Piero with the remaining 80% distributed among FCA shareholders. This doesn’t mean that if you had to buy shares in FCA today, you will be entitled to Ferrari shares. The initial listing includes a loyalty scheme whereby long-term investors in FCA such as Piero Ferrari and EXOR, FCA’s investment company will hold greater voting power, around 45% of Ferrari’s voting shares.

This isn’t the first we have heard of FCA spinning off companies as separate entities. Magneti Marelli, Italian parts giant has been tipped to be sold for around 2.7 billion euros with rumours that it was going to be added to sweeten a deal for Audi to purchase Alfa Romeo.

[Sources: Autoblog, FT]