Lighter, faster racing version of new supercar revealed for the first time at the Bologna motor show

Ferrari has taken the wraps off its new 458 Challenge race car at today’s Bologna motor show, a lighter and faster version of its mid-engined supercar that will join the grids in one-make race series from 2011.

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 F1 gearbox, plus a major push to save weight.

See the official pics of the new Ferrari 458 Challenge race car

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.

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 50mm). 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.

Read Autocar's full road test of the Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari claims that the 458 Challenge can generate lateral forces of up to 1.6g, and that it laps the firm's Fiorano test circuit in 1m 16.5sec; that's two seconds faster than the F430 Challenge car. That’s also 8.5sec quicker than the 458 road car, although its time was set on slick tyres.

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 458 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

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Comments
4

2 December 2010

No TC on a racecar!

Even for the gentlemen.

Else they can fish...

2 December 2010

just a thought...

i am not against of any evolution. performance tunning and upgrades should be at any sports car maker agenta...

but, please... this is starting to become a new trend...

special editions, chalenge, superlegerras etc...

can't anyone build a supercar that is lite, agile, competative, with super suspensions/brakes, that does anything that a super car should do??? why should there be a special edition of the 458?

and the other thing...

buttons all over the car... buttons to adjust the engine response-performance

buttons for the transmissios, suspension

buttons for the traction control...

100s of different combinations...

i would like a car that would has as a default everything set at 100%... as it was 15 years ago.

chris from athens

3 December 2010

[quote ckapodistrias]

just a thought...

i am not against of any evolution. performance tunning and upgrades should be at any sports car maker agenta...

but, please... this is starting to become a new trend...

special editions, chalenge, superlegerras etc...

can't anyone build a supercar that is lite, agile, competative, with super suspensions/brakes, that does anything that a super car should do??? why should there be a special edition of the 458?

and the other thing...

buttons all over the car... buttons to adjust the engine response-performance

buttons for the transmissios, suspension

buttons for the traction control...

100s of different combinations...

i would like a car that would has as a default everything set at 100%... as it was 15 years ago.

chris from athens

[/quote]


I totally agree, make a 2 seater sports car with a 6 speed manual box, manual suspension, cable throttle, normal power steering and a big engine, make it great from the start and it will sell. Look at the success Lotus had with the mk1 Elise, a basic no frills sports car, that gradually evolved. Or the McLaren F1, a car that is still amazing, without the need for all these super adjustable suspension, gearbox, steering , diffs etc.


If I was in the market for something like a 458, paid all that money for a fabulous Ferrari, only to find a couple of months later, there is a lighter better faster one available I would be seriously annoyed, its as if they designed, took away 10% and released it, and then put the 10% back afterwards for an even bigger profit

3 December 2010

Anyone who follows the car industry and the workings of Ferrari knows that the 458 was always going to follow its recent predecessors and bring out a more extreme version. Whether this is it or something better to come we will wait and see.

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