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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

This Ferrari Le Mans Prototype Doesn’t Exist, But it Should

BOLD RIDE

Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.
 
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In recent years, rumors have repeatedly arisen suggesting Ferrari will plot a return to prototype racing on the world stage. Given that it hasn’t happened yet, you shouldn’t wait with bated breath, but just in case it does… one can only hope that LMP1 competitor looks as good as this. 
 
Meet the Ferrari Piero T2 LM, the conceptual design of Marcello Raeli, an art student at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

No, it’s not a genuine Ferrari, nor does it exist in running-and-driving form. Nevertheless, Raeli’s scale model thesis project does provide a rather well-penned approach to the Ferrari prototype racer of the future. And it’s well thought out too.

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Besides looking like a spaceship attempting to blast-off at some angles, the concept’s design language feels familiar, tying in details from the brand’s latest track stars, such as the twin winglets and gaping maw of the Ferrari FXX K and the scoop arrangement of the original FXX. It’s graceful, athletic, if a bit more angular than the Le Mans-dominating Ferrari prototypes of yore.

Raeli’s scads of renders and sketches also reveal a few unique features as well. The prototype features a retractable vertical tail fin for straight-line stability (perhaps a must on the fast Mulsanne Straight), an aerodynamic undertray that extends far beyond the rear of the car, as well as futuristic features like swap-able battery packs, autonomous pit-stop capabilities, and drone assistance in pit lane. And instead of other drivers swapping into the car, the concept features cockpit pods which can cleverly be swapped out to reduce time in pit lane.

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Unfortunately, the chances of Ferrari making a prototype return to Le Mans anytime soon look fairly slim, but that’s not to say the fans aren’t hopeful. The packed field now consists of Toyota, Porsche, perennial favorites Audi, and until recently, Nissan.

What say you, Internet? Is this Ferrari sleek enough for primetime?