Today during the Annual Dealer Meeting at Maranello, Ferrari unveiled the new 458 Challenge race car. From 2011 this model will replace the current F430 Challenge in Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli, to become the fifth model used by Ferrari in its one-make championship.
Since it’s a competition car, a large number modifications had to be done so it’s totally different than the normal road-going version. The car’s dual-clutch F1 gearbox has now different gear ratios and calibration to higher torque at lower revs. It also retains its E-Diff system. The 570-hp 4.5 liter V8 also remains intact. The F1-Trac traction control system is also adopted for this car. The driver can either choose from the WET or DRY configurations, or just turn it off completely.
The Challenge is also much lighter than the standard car. Its interior is stripped-put and comes with lightweight racing seats and steering wheel. Apart from using light materials, they have also reduced the thickness of the bodyshell panels.
The new 458 Challenge also has a specific suspension set-up with solid aluminium bushings, stiffer springs, single-rate dampers, centre-nut 19″ racing rims, larger dimension Pirelli slicks and a ride height lowered by 30mm all round. It is also equipped with the new generation Brembo CCM2 brakes which debuted on the 599XX, Ferrari’s extreme experimental laboratory car, and which are integrated with an ABS system that features two configurations – low grip and high performance for dry surfaces.
Ferrari says this car laps the Fiorano track two seconds faster than the F430.