If you thought the 599xx was amazing, the Ferrari 458 Challenge introduces a number of important modifications to adapt it for competition use. The direct injection 4497 cc V-8 remains strictly in production tune, with an output of 570 hp at 9,000 rpm. That said, modifications have been made to the gear ratios and calibration of its dual-clutch F1 gearbox to guarantee higher torque at lower revs. The 458 Challenge is also equipped with the E-Diff electronic differential already employed on the road-going version, a first for Ferrari’s track-only cars. As with previous challenge cars, weight reduction is the cornerstone. Following in the footsteps of the F430 Challenge cars, the 458 Challenges are not street legal, but it’s only illegal if they catch you.
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We thought the perfect race car was the 360 Challenge Stradale, but Ferrari never stops improving the performance of their track cars. Body panels are much thinner, with carbon fiber playing an even more critical role. Lexan trumps glass at all corners for a safer & lighter experience. The 458 Challenge also has a specific suspension set-up with solid aluminum bushings, stiffer springs, single-rate dampers, center-lock 19-inch forged wheels, larger Pirelli slicks and it has been lowered by 30mm all around. For breathtaking stops, giant Brembo carbon brakes (which debuted on the 599XX), are integrated with a dual mode ABS system.
Another first for a Ferrari Challenge model is the adoption of the F1-Trac traction control system, the most sophisticated of its kind. Developed in-house by Ferrari, the F1-Trac system constantly monitors levels of grip for maximum high-performance road-holding. Two specific track-biased calibrations—wet and dry—have been developed for this application, with control logic and strategies derived from Ferrari’s extensive racing experience in the F1 and GT championships. The F1-Trac is completely integrated with the E-Diff to guarantee maximum acceleration out of corners. With the new 458 Challenge, Ferrari is offering its sportier clients: professional and gentlemen drivers alike a car that is extremely responsive with great performance and superb handling. This mid-rear V-8-engined Berlinetta will allow Ferrari Challenge participants to on the world’s leading circuits, as well as the passion that has always been an integral part of Ferrari’s one-make championship.