Ferrari 458 Challenge
5th December, 2010
The Ferrari 458 Challenge, the race track version of
Ferrari’s newest super car, is making its debut at the Bologna Motor Show (4th-12th December 2010), the
unique motor sport and motoring event held just down the autostrada from Ferrari’s home in Maranello.
A blend of motor show and motor sport event that has attracted enthusiasts for 35 years, the Bologna
Motor Show has both static car stands and displays, but running through the show is a race track on which
cars can be demonstrated and even raced. The event will see 13 different types of track racing events,
seven different rally events, eight different motor sport demonstration programmes and it’s even possible
to have to have test drives in racing and rally cars – not as a passenger, but behind the wheel – on the
With such an ideal environment, Ferrari has dedicated its display to all its latest motor sport
involvements, including Formula One and Sports car racing as well as single make competitions, with the
new Ferrari 458 Italia as the major attraction on its stand.
Derived from the 458 Italia, the 458 Challenge is the fifth model used by Ferrari in its single-series
racing programme which is split into Italian, European and North American championships and which will be
joined next year by the new Asia-Pacific series. With the new 458 Challenge, Ferrari puts an exceptional
combination of extreme performance, superb fun behind the wheel and unique driving emotions at the
finger-tips of its sporting, professional and gentleman-driver clients.
Also on the stand is the F430 GTC owned by the AF Corse team, one of the cars with which the Maranello
marque won the Constructors’ title in the GT2 class of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup 2010.
Ferrari’s line-up of track models is completed by the FXX and 599XX rolling laboratory cars, each of
which has its own research and development programme involving in-depth collaboration between Ferrari
technicians and their client test-drivers. At the very centre of the stand is the F60, the single-seater
Scuderia Ferrari fielded in the 2009 Formula 1 World Championship season.
A rich and varied programme is planned for the competition arena in Area 48 with the classic end-of-year
battle between the drivers of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli, now in its 18th season, dominating the
action. No less than 16 cars from the Italian and European series will be taking each other on in a
three-round competition on Wednesday 8th December. However, the high point of the programme will be the
Formula 1 exhibition with which Luca Badoer will bring his extraordinary 13-year career as the Scuderia
Ferrari’s official test-driver to an end. He’ll put an F60 through its paces and a simulated pit-stop, as
a farewell homage to the Ferrari tifosi and enthusiasts.
FERRARI 458 CHALLENGE
Compared to the 458 Italia, the direct injection 4,499 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
Significant work has also gone into cutting the car’s weight. This focused on both the exterior and
interior with Ferrari’s engineers concentrating in particular on reducing the thickness of the body shell
panels and on using lightweight materials, such as carbon-fibre and Lexan.
The new 458 Challenge also has a specific suspension set-up with steel uniball joints, stiffer springs,
single-rate alloy dampers, centre-nut 19” forged rims, larger dimension Pirelli slicks and a ride height
lowered by 50 mm all round. It is also equipped with the new generation Brembo CCM2 brakes integrated with
the latest ABS system which debuted on the 599XX, Ferrari’s extreme experimental laboratory car.
Another first for a Ferrari Challenge model is the adoption of the F1-Trac traction control system, the
most sophisticated of its kind. Developed in-house by Ferrari, the F1-Trac system constantly monitors
levels of grip for maximum high-performance road-holding. Two specific track-biased calibrations have been
developed for this application, with control logics and strategies derived from Ferrari’s extensive racing
experience in the F1 and GT championships. The F1-Trac is completely integrated with the E-Diff to
guarantee maximum stability and acceleration both into and out of corners.
The ABS/EBD, F1-Trac and E-Diff calibration settings are selected via the manettino on the steering
wheel, the first time this solution has been adopted on a model developed for the Ferrari Challenge series.
The driver has a choice of three configurations: OFF position (traction control deactivated), position 1
and position 2. The latter two settings have progressively higher levels of control system intervention and
are selected in accordance with grip conditions on the track.
In the course of the intensive development sessions involved in honing the 458 Challenge for the track,
the engineers also managed to improve the car’s lap time at Fiorano by two seconds over that of its
predecessor, resulting in a new record of just 1’16.5”. Equally impressive is the amount of lateral grip
the new car generates – up to 1.6G.