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Mike Stevens | Jul 30, 2010

2011 ferrari 458 challenge 02

Ferrari's newest supercar is finally about to hit the track, the Italian supercarmaker revealing the new 458 Challenge earlier this month. Today, Maranello has served up a trio of new photos, including a shot of driver Maurizio Mediani.

The latest in a long line of special Challenge models, the 458 Challenge will race alongside teams running its F430 counterpart in the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli next year (including a new Asia-Pacific series).

Power for the 458 Challenge is drawn from the same unmodified 425kW/540Nm 5.5 litre V8 featured in its roadgoing cousin, but thinner Lexan and carbon-fibre panels make the Challenge a little lighter on its feet than the regular model - although specific numbers have not been revealed.

While the engine remains unchanged, the 458's dual-clutch transmission gets modified gear ratios and calibration, producing higher torque at lower revs. The roadgoing 458's E-Diff electronic differential is also featured in the Challenge - a first for Ferrari's track car series.

The regular 458 makes its way to 100km/h in just 3.4 seconds, but Ferrari has not revealed any acceleration times for its track-only beast. However, Ferrari's engineers established a 1'16.5" Fiorano laptime - some two seconds faster than the 458 Challenge's predecessor.

Suspension is managed by solid aluminium bushings, stiffer springs and single-rate dampers. There are also centre-nut 19-inch racing wheels, wider Pirelli slicks and a 30mm lower ride height.

The 458 Challenge will be made available to professional racing teams and track-loving private buyers, although prices - and more images - have yet to be revealed.

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