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The Ferrari 458 Challenge made its world debut at the company’s Annual Dealer Meeting in Maranello recently. This car replaces the F430 Challenge and will see action in the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli in the 2011 season, which will also feature an Asia-Pacific series. The RM2 million supercar’s stock engine, which is a 4.5-litre V8 producing 570 hp and 540 Nm of torque, is maintained, but other bits have been fine-tuned.

First up are the modified gear ratios and the calibration of the dual-clutch F1 transmission, which they say guarantees higher torque at lower revs. Also available will be the E-Diff electronic differential that is no stranger to the Ferrari road car range. Contained within E-Diff is the F1-Trac traction control system which has a wet and dry setting. It constantly monitors grip levels for maximum road holding.

Acceleration has been improved using weight saving techniques (standard car does 0-100 km/h in under 3.4 seconds), among them reducing the thickness of the body panels and using materials such as carbon fibre and Lexan. This lighter body will sit on a new 30 mm lower suspension set-up made of solid aluminium bushings, stiffer springs and single-rate dampers. There are also centre-nut 19” racing rims, larger dimension Pirelli slicks and new generation Brembo CCM2 brakes, which is also on the track-only 599XX.

All these enhancements have been proven on track as Ferrari says that the car laps Fiorano in 1 minute and 16.5 seconds, a whole two seconds quicker than the F430 Challenge.