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New Pictures of Ferrari 458 Challenge Go Live

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On: Wed, Aug 4, 2010 at 10:09AM | By: Chris Weiss

New Pictures of Ferrari 458 Challenge Go Live

Ferrari introduced its track-only version of the 458 several weeks ago, but until this week, we were left with but one picture of what the car looks like. Finally Ferrari has released a few live action shots of the 458 Challenge and it looks just as good from the back as it does the front. The cherry red trackster posed for a couple of shots during testing at the Vallelunga circuit.

Revealed at Ferrari's annual dealer meeting in mid-July, the Ferrari 458 Challenge is an all-performance, track-only version of the 458 Italia. Ferrari chose to transfer the 570-hp V8 engine from the 458 Italia without any tuning, instead focusing on fine-tuning the gear ratios and calibration of the dual-clutch F1 transmission to deliver higher torque at lower revolutions. Ferrari also made the 458 Challenge the first of its track cars to sport an E-Diff electronic differential.

The 458 Challenge also benefits from Ferrari's in-house-developed F1-Trac system, which features two settings for wet and dry conditions, providing maximum grip through both. The E-Diff and F1-Trac systems work together to deliver acceleration out of corners. Like the F1-Trac, the ABS system includes two settings: low grip and high performance. All the controls for those three systems are available to the driver on the steering wheel.

Like any good track star, the 458 Challenge has shed a few pounds thanks to thinner body panels and lightweight materials such as carbon fiber and Lexan. Other modifications include race-specific suspension, lowered ride height, 19-inch wheels, Brembo CCM2 brakes and large Pirelli slicks.

Two drivers recently took to Vallelunga for the testing captured in the photos above. Maurizio Mediani of Italy and Jaime Melo of Argentina put some time behind the wheel, and both were impressed with the car's dynamics, raving about its quickness and performance.

The 458 Challenge beats its predecessor--the F430 Challenge--around Ferrari's Fiorano test track by two full seconds with a time of 1 minute 16.5 seconds. The new car will run the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli next to the F430 Challenge next race season.

Now if we could only get some live track shots of the 599 GTO, life would be good.

Photo Gallery (click a thumbnail to enlarge)


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