Since the launch of the 360 Challenge Stradale in 2003, every time Ferrari comes up with a mid-engined sports car we expect a hard-core track-focused version to follow, bearing a cool nickname like Staradale for the 360, and Scuderia for the 430.
Now it’s the turn of the Ferrari 458 Italia to spawn a track-focused version, and if the recent reports are to true, we will see it as soon as Frankfurt Motor Show in September. It is not confirmed yet what the new boy is called, but rest assured it is going to be one helluva machine, and not just because the 458 itself is such a wonderful creation.
The thing about the hard-core Ferrari sports cars is that they are made purely for enthusiasts. The normal 458, as great as it is, has to be soft and cuddly for the middle-aged, slightly fat, rich gentlemen who are the typical Ferrari customers these days. It makes them feel like a pro driver by correcting their mistakes and rewarding their effort. The Scuderia version won’t be like that. It will be totally unhinged.
Of course, being a modern Ferrari, the car will still be packed with a ton and a bit of computer power to govern your every move. But since they are setup primarily for track work, the whole thing will be more exciting to drive. Taking into account that the Scuderia version is semi stripped-out, lighter, and tauter, the driving experience will be different than that of the normal 458.
The Scuderia version of the 458 will come with stiffened suspension, better brakes, and a tweaked powertrain featuring new connecting rods, new exhausts, and an upgraded software for the engine’s electronic brain. So you can expect something in the neighborhood of 600 horsepower. The car will probably get a new aero package as well, but nothing too radical. Ferrari doesn’t do radical when it comes to styling changes.
Ferrari is running the 458 Challenge racing series for a couple of years now, and experiences grained on the race track will certainly trickle down to the 458 Scuderia, which is basically a road-going version of the Challenge car.
Just like the Stradale and the 430 Scuderia, the track-focused version of the 458 will only appeal to the real Ferrari aficionados, not those who buy a Fezza for showing off. Regardless of the significant price difference between the two, the Scuderia version won’t be nowhere near as comfortable and convenient to live with as the standard car. It will be on the edge all the time. It will be razor sharp, aggressive, and terrifyingly fast. And that is why it will be absolutely wonderful!