Ferrari has confirmed it is preparing a racetrack-only version of its LaFerrari hypercar.
Speaking at the Ferrari Racing Days in Sydney, the head of Ferrari's Sporting Activity Department that oversees all non-Formula One racing activities for the brand, Antonello Coletta, told Fairfax Media that a LaFerrari XX is under development and will be launched in 2015.
The LaFerrari XX will follow on from the Enzo-based FXX and 599XX racetrack machines that are built for the Italian brand's most exclusive customers.
"Now we are working on the new hypercar for the circuit, the LaFerrari XX," Coletta told Fairfax Media.
"I hope that the new car will arrive on the circuit in January or February of next year."
Coletta admits that it will be hard to improve the performance of the LaFerrari because the hybrid powertrain - a 6.3-litre V12 petrol engine and pair of electric motors - that power the car are already capable of 718kW of power and 900Nm of torque.
"It is very hard to make a car more fast than a LaFerrari but this is the challenge," he said.
"It will be more or less the same [power] but it will be completely different the handling, because it's normal that the handling is different for the circuit and the road.
"The power is a lot; enough! It is very hard to improve the power. The difference will be the slick tyres, the aerodynamics, the electronics, the suspension, the shock absorbers."
A hardcore version of the LaFerrari has been rumoured since shortly after the car's launch in 2013.
The rumours became more intense after a test mule was spotted in Italy that appeared to be based on the LaFerrari but sported large front and rear wings and a roof-mounted air intake.
But Coletta played down the relevance of that car to the LaFerrari XX program and denied it was related to Ferrari's admission it is considering a return to Le Mans-style sports car racing.
"The supercar you saw in the paper is a laboratory car," he said. "It is not an XX car, it is not a Le Mans car for the future. It is a laboratory car for many activities for us. Could be in the future a prototype [Le Mans car]... It is normal for a manufacturer to have a test track and a test car to improve our knowledge for our car for the future."
As for the chances for Ferrari returning to a Le Mans - to compete against Porsche, Audi and Toyota - Coletta said it was still under consideration.
But he admitted unless Formula One introduced a budget cap and restricted resources, Ferrari wouldn't be able to enter both of the high-profile racing series. Instead, it will remain focused on F1 and its GT racing efforts with a 458-based racer.
"Now, we stay in F1 ... For now Ferrari will not be in Le Mans but we will see, but it is absolutely not sure," Coletta said. "For now we have the 458 in GT2. We won the last two world championship and the next week we start the new championship. We are concentrating on GT2 now, for the future we will see."
He was also hopeful that Ferrari's win in the 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour would help the company sell more of its 458 GT3 racing machines in this part of the world.
-Fairfax News Australia