The Ferrari 458 Italia Challenge

After all the rumors and spy shots, the Ferrari 458 Italia Challenge made its debut in Maranello during the Annual Dealer Meeting. The new 458 Italia Challenger will join the F430 Challenge in the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli in the 2011 season, becoming the fifth model used by Ferrari in its one-make championship. Next year’s season will also be extended to include a new Asia-Pacific series.

The 458 Italia Challenge uses the same 4.5L V8 engine from the production car making 570-hp, but Ferrari has upgraded the gear ratios and gearbox software to deliver more torque at lower revs. Weight has also been reduced with the use of carbon fiber, lexan polycarbonate, along with thinner body panels.

Other changes include a lower suspension, single-rate dampers with stiffer springs, 19-inch racing wheels wrapped in Pirelli slick tires, and the Brembo CCM2 carbon ceramic brakes from the 599XX.

Ferrari says that the 458 Italia Challenge lapped the company’s Fiorano test track in 1:16.5, 2 seconds faster than the F430 Challenge.

Unfortunately, Ferrari only released one image of the Ferrari 458 Italia Challenge.

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