Ferrari 458 Challenge Image
from Classic to Modern
The Ferrari Challenge sports car was a single marque racer specifically targeted at the amateur driver. The idea was spawned in Europe in 1993, but soon spread to the US.
In 1994, Ferrari introduced the 348 Factory Challenge, which was based on the 348 TB and TS.
This was subsequently replaced by: the 355 Challenge in 1996, 360 Challenge Stradale in 1999, and F430 Challenge in 2005.
To complete this successful series of racers, the 458 Challenge was introduced in 2010, aimed specifically at the track, and continued on from where the 360 Modena Challenge track racer left off in 1999.
Based on the 458 Italia, the weight was dramatically reduced by the use of thinner gauge body panels, which consisted of carbon fibre, and replacing the window and windscreen glass with Plexiglass.
The cab was converted into a racing cockpit, and the car received a racing exhaust, tow hooks, and an air jack.
In terms of suspension, it was fitted with stiffer springs, 19 inch centre-locking racing wheels, enlarged Pirelli slicks, whilst the ride height was reduced all round by nearly 1.5 inches.
The very latest Brembo disc brakes were fitted, which included uprated pads to facilitate heat dispersal so helping to reduce stopping distances, and were linked to the ABS system.
The 458 Challenge was the first track racer to incorporate E-Diff, the electronic limited slip differential, and F1-Trac, Ferrari's in-house traction control system, which managed the level of grip to ensure optimum road-holding.
Both the E-Diff and F1-Trac systems were integrated to ensure that, when coming out of a corner, the driver would be able to generate maximum acceleration.
As with the 458 Italia, the Manettino switch on the steering wheel was used to choose the appropriate setting for E-Diff, F1-Trac, and ABS, and was the first time it had been fitted to a Challenge racer.
This enabled the driver to utilise either the wet or dry modes.
Furthermore, with road conditions that offered high grip characteristics, the F1-Trac could be turned off to deactivate that part of the system.
The 458 Challenge retained the 4.5 litre, V8 mid-engine fitted to a seven speed Getrag sequential gearbox, as used in the 458 Italia, and developed the same 570 bhp at 9000 rpm (the redline), and 398 ft/lbs of torque at 6000 rpm.
However, for use in competitions, the gear ratios were revised to ensure that torque was increased lower down the rev band.
458 458 430 355
Technical Data Challenge Speciale Challenge Challenge
Production 2010+ 2013+ 205-2009 1996-1998
Engine, cc 4499 4499 4308 3496
Cylinders, bhp 8, 570 8, 597 8, 483 8, 380
Torque ft/lbs 398 398 343 268
Top Speed mph - 202 193 186
0-60 mph, secs - 2.8 3.5 4.6
0-100 mph, secs - 6.1 7.3 9.4
Standing 1/4 Mile, secs - 10.7 11.5 12.4
Ferrari 458 Challenge Image
Typical competitors for the Ferrari 458 Challenge included the following sports cars: Porsche 997 GT2 and Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4. Ferrari performance:
Technical Data Challenge 997 GT2 Gallardo LP560-4
Production 2010+ 2008-2010 208+
Engine, cc 4499 3601 5206
Cylinders, bhp 8, 570 6, 530 10, 550
Torque ft/lbs 398 530 397
Top Speed mph - 203 201
0-60 mph, secs - 3.6 3.7
0-100 mph, secs - 7.6 6.9
Standing 1/4 Mile, secs - - 11.2
An excellent example of a Ferrari 458 Challenge was sold at auction with a price tag of $225,000.
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