Ferrari 458 Challenge makes its debut at Maranello

Ferrari 458 Challenge makes its debut at Maranello

The 458 Challenge was revealed today in Maranello during the Annual Dealer Meeting, a traditional event that brings together the representatives of Ferrari's international sales network. It's the fifth model used by Ferrari in its onemake championship which, next year, will be extended to include a new Asia-Pacific series.

The 458 Challenge introduces a number of important modifications to adapt it for competition use.

Like the F430 Challenge that preceded it, the 458 Challenge retains the 458 Italia's screaming 4.5-liter mid-mounted V-8 (tuned with an output of 570 hp at 9,000 rpm), paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The engineers have been some modifications to the gear ratios and calibration of its dual-clutch F1 gearbox to improve torque at lower revs.

Significant work has also gone into cutting the car's weight. According to Ferrari, the new 458 Challenge weighs significantly less than the production model because of the use of lightweight carbon-fiber and Lexan body panels, which help account for weight savings. In addition, this race car get a specific suspension set-up with solid aluminum bushings, stiffer springs, 19-inch racing wheels, wider Pirelli racing slicks and a ride height lowered by 30mm all round. Brembo brakes, previewed on the 599XX prototype, work with ABS calibrated for either wet or dry surfaces.

Ferrari is also including its E-Diff and F1-Trac systems for the first time on a Challenge racing edition.

The 458 Challenge was announced at the Ferrari annual dealer meeting, and will race with the F430 this year in the F430 Challenge series.