Ferrari has launched the fifth model that will be used in the Italian carmaker’s single-series racing program--the 458 Challenge.
Based on the roadgoing 458 Italia, the 458 Challenge utilizes the same engine as the former. It is, however, nearly 10 seconds faster than the Italia and two seconds faster than its predecessor, the 430 Challenge, around Ferrari's Fiorano test track.
This was made possible as the 458 Challenge's dual-clutch F1 gearbox was modified to produce higher torque at lower revs. The 458 Challenge also comes with the E-Diff electronic differential used in its road-going version, making this a first for Ferrari's track-only cars.
The 458 Challenge has also gone on a diet with Ferrari's engineers particularly concentrating on reducing the thickness of the bodyshell panels and on using lightweight materials like carbon fiber and Lexan.
Befitting its status as a track-ready car, the 458 Challenge gets a specific suspension set-up comprised of steel uniball joints, stiffer springs, single-rate alloy dampers, 19-inch center-nut forged wheels, larger-dimension Pirelli slick tires and a ride height lowered by 50mm. The car also gets Brembo's new-generation CCM2 brakes integrated with the latest ABS system which debuted on the 599XX, Ferrari's hardcore experimental laboratory car.
"With the new 458 Challenge, Ferrari puts an exceptional combination of extreme performance, superb fun behind the wheel and unique driving emotions at the finger-tips of its sporting, professional and gentleman-driver clients," Ferrari said in its statement.