Compared to the 458 Italia, the direct injection 4499 cc V8 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.
The Prancing Horse engineers focused in particular on the thickness of the bodyshell and the materials used, making extensive use of Lexan. The 458 Challenge also has a specific set-up thanks to modifications made to its suspensions which now include solid steel racing bushings, stiffer springs, single-rate aluminium dampers, 19’’ centre-lock forged wheel rims, larger Pirelli slicks and a ride height that’s lower by 50 mm.
New generation CCM2 Brembo brakes are also integrated with the evolved ABS debuted on the 599XX laboratory car. Also new is the use of the F1-Trac traction control system. This Ferrari-developed piece of kit continuously estimates grip and uses that information to boost performance.
Two track-specific calibrations were developed with logics and control strategies evolved from the F1 and GT racing worlds and fully integrated with the E-Diff to maximise performance both entering and exiting corners. The ABS/EBD, E-Diff and F1-Trac calibrations are controlled via a steering wheel-mounted manettino, another first for a Ferrari Challenge-dedicated model. The driver has a choice of 3 settings: OFF position (traction control deactivated), position 1 and position 2. The latter two settings progressively increase the amount of control exerted by the aforementioned systems and can be selected to suit grip conditions. The 458 Challenge also has extraordinary lateral acceleration of 1.6 G when cornering, an essential factor in its superior performance.
The 458 Challenge guarantees the Ferrari Challenge drivers blistering performance and driving pleasure in the spirit of a championship designed to allow clients enjoy themselves and their cars in a professional and exclusive environment.