Ferrari 458 Challenge racing supercar

Ferrari unveils its racing 458 Italia, the lighter, torquier 458 Challenge supercar

Ferrari has revealed its 458 Challenge racing supercar. It’s the motorsport version of the excellent V8-engined 458 Italia, which we reviewed on video last year. And that irresistible, hi-revving 4.5-litre unit remains largely intact. Its 562bhp maximum (at 9000rpm) is identical, though some gearbox modifications ensure higher torque levels at lower revs. There’s also a new suspension set-up, with solid aluminium bushings, stiffer springs, single-rate dampers and a 30mm lower ride height. Super-strong Brembo brakes (from the Ferrari 599XX) sit inside new 19in, centre-nut competition wheels which are wrapped in Pirelli slick rubber. A host of weight-cuts feature, with thinner body panels and liberal use of lightweight materials, such as carbonfibre and Lexan. It bodes well for a potential 458 ‘Scuderia’ special… Also standard on the 458 Challenge – firsts for a Ferrari track special – are the firm’s E-Diff electronic differential and the F1-Trac traction control system from the road-going supercar.

The car will compete alongside the F430 Challenge in 2011’s Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli season, and with its 1min16.5sec Fiorano lap-time trumping its predecessor by two seconds, you’d fancy its chances.

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Browse our huge, hi-res Ferrari 458 Italia image gallery

See Chris Harris drive the Ferrari 458 Italia around Fiorano Harris also has a go in the 458 supercar on fine Italian roads Supercar video of Ferrari 458 Italia v Porsche 911 GT3 RS

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