Ferrari LaFerrari racing prototype

Rumors have been circulating for a few months now that Ferrari could be gearing up to challenge for outright victory at Le Mans once again with an LMP1 racer of its own. First the head of the sports racing division hinted at the prospect, then the head of the Formula One team lent it more credence, and most recently, the chairman of the company itself confirmed the possibility. We've even heard some rumors over who could drive the thing. But what we haven't seen yet is any solid proof that the Prancing Horse marque has actually been working on such a racecar.

That could be what we're looking at it here, but then again, it might not be. Spied undergoing testing in Southern Europe, this camouflaged test mule appears to be based on the new LaFerrari supercar, but with some key modifications that indicate this isn't the road-going version. The revised aero is a dead giveaway, with that giant front splitter jutting out like a swollen lip and a massive rear wing protruding from the back. The headlights are different, it's got center-lock wheels fitted at each corner and there's a big snorkel air scoop protruding from the engine bay.

What's clear is that this is test mule has definitely been set up for the race track. The only question is, to what end? Even with all the add-ons, it's still nowhere near as extreme as the purpose-built prototypes that Audi, Toyota and Porsche will be fielding in the FIA World Endurance Championship this year, and it's missing key features like the mandatory center tailfin. It could be a platform for testing components to use on an upcoming LMP1, but if not for the aforementioned Le Mans rumors, our money would have been on something else – be it a GT racing version of LaFerrari like Maserati did with the Enzo-based MC12, or a customer track toy to follow in the footsteps of the (also Enzo-based) FXX and the 599XX that followed.

We suppose we'll find out soon enough, but one thing's for sure: Ferrari isn't working on this just for the heck of it, so expect something wicked this way to come within the next year or two.