Currently reading: Ferrari 458 Challenge launched
First details and pics of Ferrari's new 458 racer, which forms the basis of a new one-make series

Ferrari has revealed its new 458 Challenge, a lighter and faster version of its mid-engined supercar that will join the grids in one-make race series from 2011.

Unveiled at Maranello during Ferrari's annual dealer meeting, the 458 Challenge has the same direct-injection, 4.5-litre V8 powerplant as the regular car, producing 562bhp at 9000rpm.

See the first official pic of the Ferrari 458 Challenge racer

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.

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 Ferrari 458 Italia first drive, plus see it on video

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 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 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.

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Samiur Rahman SHAH 23 July 2010

Re: Ferrari 458 Challenge launched

Straight Six Man wrote:

Samiur Rahman SHAH wrote:
The 458 and 599 are IMHO, the better looking of the recent Ferraris, unfortunately not the absolute prettiest - for me it's a toss-up between the 355 and the Dino.

It's got to be the 250GTE and the 275GTB/GTS.

Except for the 456 and the 599, I somehow never liked front engined Ferraris. Just a personal thing, the 250GTE looks a bit like an Aston. The 550/575 took some getting used to, but they're pleasant enough as shapes go.

Samiur Rahman SHAH 23 July 2010

Re: Ferrari 458 Challenge launched

FriendlyFisherman wrote:

I am in a weird group of one as someone who actually likes the F50? I'm not saying its the best ever looking, but I like it.

I wish to apply for membership to your odd group. Yes, I like the F50 as well. More so than the F40 and the Enzo. The F40 has its qualities, but beauty is, in my opinion, not one of them. The Enzo? In black or in FXX spec it looks menacing, but again, not pretty.

disco.stu 17 July 2010

Re: Ferrari 458 Challenge launched

Straight Six Man wrote:

Oddly, I always liked the Mondial - it looked like an 80s 355 to me. It was the 328 and 348 I had a big problem with.

Also, I hated the Testarossa and the Enzo.

"Oddly" is definitely right. The Mondial would have to be one of the most ungainly Ferraris ever to leave the Pininfarina drawing board. Not that a mid-engined 2+2 was much opportunity for classical proportions.