Thanks to the well-connected folks at TeamSpeed, we have these first photos of the Ferrari 458 Italia Challenge car, that will replace the current F430 Challenge cars in the Italian automakerís gentleman racing series.
The photos are reportedly from the first showing of the car, with official specs and photos set to be released by Ferrari soon.
Unfortunately, recent reports have suggested Ferrari may not build a Challenge Stradale or Scuderia version of the 458 Italia with Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo recently commenting that the 458 is already so advanced that a more hard-core version would be pointless. Still, in about three years time, we have a feeling Ferrari will be able to top the 458.
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After bringing you some of the first unofficial pics of Ferrari’s F430 Challenge successor, we now have the one-and-only first official photo of the new 458 Challenge race car.
According to Ferrari, the new 458 Challenge weighs significantly less than the production model, although specific numbers have not been given. In addition, this race car gets aluminum bushings, stiffer springs that lower the car by 30mm, 19-inch racing wheels and wider Pirelli racing slicks. Ferrari claims it’s capable of 1.6 Gs of lateral acceleration. Also included are a new generation of Brembo carbon ceramic brakes (called CCM2), that first debuted on the 599XX.
And for the first time on a Ferrari Challenge car, the Prancing Horse has decided to equip its gentleman racers with traction control. The F1-Trac system constantly monitors grip to deliver the most power possible, with a dry track and wet track setting. And because these are real Ferrari race cars, drivers can also opt for CT-OFF on the steering wheel-mounted manettino to completely shut off the traction control system.
Compared to the F430 Challenge car, Ferrari claims the 458 Challenge is two seconds a lap faster on its Fiorano test circuit, setting a new record time of 1:16.5.
The 458 Challenge will run alongside its 430 Challenge predecessor in the 2011 Series, while the latter is phased out. Ferrari also plans to expand its Ferrari Challenge series next year, adding a new series in the Asia-Pacific region.
THats awesome. Makes sense since the best ferrari is always the next Ferrari
2010 LEXUS ISF / F Sport rear Sway Bar / Michelin PSS
The ISF......The perfect car for an enthusiast. It can be driven to the track, run hard all day , and then transport me hundreds of miles to home in luxury and comfort to pick up the wife for dinner and a movie....