Ferrari is one of the rare manufacturers that plays host to its own one-make racing series. And while that may not seem like a very special thing on the surface, it is when you get into a Ferrari road car. While other manufacturers participate in racing series like Le Mans and Formula 1, it doesn’t take much to realize that the cars they field aren’t actually very related to their road-going cars. And yes, while they can apply what they’ve learned through their race car, it can sometimes be hard to translate that to a road car.
But when a manufacturer has the possibility — and the budget — to make a race car version of your road car, there’s a rare opportunity there to be able to see what changes can be made to the exact car in question. Ferrari has earned that opportunity with its latest car, the 458 Italia, by making the 458 Italia Challenge. Working off of knowledge from turning previous cars, such as the 360 and 430, into full on race cars, Ferrari has given the same treatment to its latest car, the 458. The car received a weight treatment by way of thinner body panels. The ride height has also been lowered, in order to lower the center of gravity for the track, and lightweight wheels in conjunction with ceramic brakes help keep down unsprung weight.
The car will see time in the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo next year, hopefully filling up ledgers with copious notes to be applied to road cars to come. For now, we only have the one picture to show you, but stay tuned, as we’re sure more will be coming out.