458 racer takes to the track for the first time at Vallelunga

Ferrari’s 458 Italia Challenge racer has taken to the track for the first time at Vallelunga.

Ferrari test drivers Maurizio Mediani and Jaime Melo each drove the car at the Rome circuit and both were pleased with the V8 racer.

See the official pics of the Ferrari 458 Italia Challenge in action for the first time

Mediani said the Challenge was “very quick and extremely good fun”, while Melo said he was “sure that Prancing Horse competition owners will be very pleased with this car”.

The 458 Challenge has the same direct-injection, 4.5-litre V8 powerplant as the regular car, producing 562bhp at 9000rpm. The gains for track use come through revised gear ratios and recalibration of the 458's dual-clutch F1 gearbox, plus a major push to save weight.

Ferrari has reduced the thickness of the 458's body panels and made greater use of lightweight materials such as carbonfibre and Lexan. The firm has declined to quote a weight figure for the new car, however.

Read Autocar's first drive, plus see pics and video, of the Ferrari 458 Italia

The Challenge's chassis set-up features stiffer springs, single-rate dampers, 19in racing wheels, larger Pirelli slick tyres and a lower ride height (down by 30mm). It also has Brembo CCM2 brakes, as seen on the 599XX.

The new model also gets Ferrari's E-Diff electronic differential and F1-Trac, its traction control system, the first time these set-ups have been offered on one of the firm's track cars.

Ferrari claims the 458 Challenge can generate lateral forces of up to 1.6g, and that it laps the firm's Fiorano test circuit in 1min 16.5sec – around two seconds faster than the F430 Challenge car.

The 458 Challenge will be the fifth car to compete in the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli; it will take on F430s, 360s, F355s and 348s.

See all the latest Ferrari reviews, news and video

Our Verdict

Ferrari 458
The radical-looking, mid-engined V8 Ferrari 458 oozes supercar charm

The Ferrari 458 Italia has set a new standard by which supercars are now judged

Join the debate

Comments
2

2 August 2010

F1-Trac : contrary to a race car without contestation.

"Ferrari claims the 458 Challenge can generate lateral forces of up to 1.6g, and that it laps the firm's Fiorano test circuit in 1min 16.5sec – around two seconds faster than the F430 Challenge car. "

In a general point of view, why a monotype race car must be faster, more glued to the track, more expensive?

2 August 2010

yeah, thats what i was thinking. but a fiorano test track is a 2km stretch of tarmac, that could cost pittance to build. unless your abu dhabi.

www.KOOOLcr.com

 

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Mercedes C350e Sport
    First Drive
    28 September 2016
    Petrol-electric C-Class is a surprisingly well-priced alternative to a diesel but not the greatest example of the new ‘PHEV’ breed
  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
  •  Maserati Ghibli Diesel
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    Maserati releases another range of updates for its range best seller, the Ghibli. We've driven the diesel version, but there's little improvement on before
  • Tipo Front
    First Drive
    21 September 2016
    New Fiat Tipo offers impressive space and practicality for a reasonable price. We try the 1.6 diesel on the demanding roads of North Wales