Ferrari has tweaked and released five race cars with the ‘Challenge Series’ tag. Challenge Car owners from across the globe have been participating in Ferrari’s own Challenge racing series with these race-tuned cars since 1992. To celebrate the 25th anniversary next year, the Italian supercar manufacturer announced the sixth racecar under this single-make series, called the Ferrari 488 Challenge. It is slated to replace the 458 Challenge EVO model.
The sixth model, carrying the Challenge series tag, is the first ever turbo charged model to race and is the most powerful Challenge car ever. It is powered by a 3.9-litre, V8 petrol engine that is tuned to pump out 660PS of power and 772Nm of torque. This engine bagged the coveted 2016 International Engine of the Year Award. It is mated to a F1 DCT transmission that features a new racing shift technology which enables the race car to accelerate from idle to maximum revs in the fourth gear in just six seconds.
Although the performance figures are almost identical to the 488 GTB V8, the Challenge avatar gets a retuned chassis and a more aerodynamic styling. The front radiator layout has also been reworked to improve the airflow in racing conditions. Additionally, the front bumper has been redone completely as it now receives a more pronounced splitter, which flicks to increase downforce. Even the bonnet is all new with triple vents and integrated flaps to direct the hot airflow from the radiators towards the rear.
Apart from that, the 488 Challenge gets specific engine mapping, optimised for racing performance and shorter gear ratios. The entire powertrain is now lighter in weight, delivering more horsepower-per-tonne. The 488 Challenege also brings the Ferrari patented Slip Slip Control (SSC) software for the first time in racing series. It helps to improve turn-in, cornering and acceleration out of corners.
All these changes have transformed the car that completed a lap around the Fiorano test track in 1m 15.5sec. That’s a second faster than the car it replaces, seven and a half seconds faster than the road-legal 488 GTB V8 and four seconds faster than the LaFerrari, Ferrari’s flagship offering.