The Bologna motor show sees the world debut of Ferrari’s 458 Challenge, the fifth model Ferrari has produced for its single-series racing programme.
The 458 Challenge, a racing version of the 458 Italia, retains the road car’s 4.5 V8, with its 570HP at 9000rpm, but modifications to the gear ratios guarantee higher torque at lower revs. Meanwhile, the new 458 Challenge is the first of Ferrari’s track-only cars to have the E-Diff electronic differential. What really sets the Challenge car apart, however, is the reduction of weight, thanks to thinner bodyshell panels and the use of lightweight materials such as carbonfibre and Lexan.
The suspension features stiffer springs, single-rate alloy dampers, centre-nut 19in forged rims, larger dimension Pirelli slicks and a ride height lowered by 50mm all round. The car is equipped with Brembo CCM2 brakes, as per the 599XX, Ferrari’s extreme experimental laboratory car.
Another first for a Ferrari Challenge model is the adoption of the F1-Trac traction control system, which constantly monitors levels of grip for high-performance road-holding.
In the development of the 458 Challenge for the track, the car lapped Fiorano in just 1min 16.5sec, while a maximum lateral grip of 1.6g is claimed for the new car.
Text - Charis Whitcombe
Photos - Ferrari
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