Ferrari 458 Challenge unveiled at the 2010 Bologna Motor Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 3, 2010

At the Bologna Motor Show, Ferrari unveiled its new 458 Challenge race car, a lighter and faster version of its mid-engined supercar that will participate in the one-make race series from 2011. The 458 Challenge and the regular car share the same direct-injection, 4.5-litre V8 powerplant, which delivers 562bhp at 9000rpm.

As it is for track use, it features revised gear ratios and recalibration of the 458's F1 gearbox. To shave off some weight, Ferrari has reduced the thickness of the 458's body panels, and has increased its use of lightweight materials such as carbonfiber and Lexan. So far, Ferrari has yet to reveal this car’s weight.

The Challenge's chassis set-up comprises stiffer springs, single-rate dampers, 19in racing wheels, larger Pirelli slick tires and a lower ride height (down by 50mm).

It also has Brembo CCM2 brakes, which are used on the 599XX. The new model also features Ferrari's E-Diff electronic differential and F1-Trac, its traction control system. This is the first time that these set-ups were offered on one of the company’s track cars.

Ferrari asserts that the 458 Challenge can produce lateral forces of up to 1.6g, and that it can finish a lap in the firm's Fiorano test circuit in 1m 16.5sec, which is two seconds faster than the F430 Challenge car.

It is also 8.5sec faster than the 458 road car. However, it must be remembered that its time was set on slick tires. The 458 Challenge would be the fifth car to compete in the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli where it will go up against F430s, 360s, F355s and 348s.

Press Release

The 458 Challenge is the star of the Bologna Motor Show while Ferrari burn up the track with Challenge and F1 cars

Ferrari makes a different contribution to the 35th edition of the Bologna Motor Show with a stand devoted entirely to its racing activities plus an intense track programme.

The 458 Challenge also makes its world debut at the Bolognese event. This mid-rear V8 berlinetta is derived from the 458 Italia and is the fifth model used by Ferrari in its single-series racing programme. The latter is currently split into Italian, European and North American championships which will be flanked 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.

The Prancing Horse’s line-up of track models is completed by the FXX and 599XX laboratory cars, each of which has its own eponymous research and development programme involving in-depth collaboration between Ferrari technicians and our client test-drivers. At the very centre of the stand is the F60, the single-seater the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 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, December 8th. 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 tifosi and enthusiasts present.


Compared to the 458 Italia, the direct injection 4499 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 track-only cars.

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 bodyshell panels and on using lightweight materials, such as carbon-fibre as well as polycarbonate for the front and rear windscreens and side windows.

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 50mm 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.

If you liked the article, share on:


Login or Create new account to add a comment!


More than three decades ago, the DeLorean DMC-12 was produced by the DeLorean Motor Company. However, production was stopped due to issues within the company. The car itself was decent...
by - October 27, 2016
Tesla is making sure that all models under production will receive the necessary advanced hardware that will allow them to be autonomously driven. The fitment of these advanced hardware to...
by - October 27, 2016
Wondering how fast the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in actual driving? To provide customers a good idea on how fast the 2017 Camaro ZL1 could really get, Chevrolet recently had...
by - October 27, 2016
So, it is official! The new Honda Clarity FCV has the longest verified range of any zero-emissions vehicle currently on the road in the United States. One of the main...
by - October 27, 2016
Many have been anticipating Mercedes-Benz Vans’ newest luxury pickup truck, the X-Class. While Mercedes-Benz has yet to reveal the official production version of the X-Class, it was kind enough to...
by - October 27, 2016