Revealed: Ferrari 488 Challenge

By Winding Road Staff

December 07, 2016

Ferrari recently revealed the 488 Challenge race car. The 488 Challenge replaces the 458 Challenge Evo as the core platform for the various Ferrari Challenge spec series that are run around the world. 
The new racer adopts the 3.9L turbo V-8 from the street 488, but with a slightly racier tune to an estimated 675 hp. The paddle-shifted dual clutch transmission also gets shorter ratios than the street car that are more suited to typical racing circuits (and the lack of concern about cruising). Street car weight has been dropped, and the 488 Challenge has a much more aggressive aero package, based on new front bumpers, rear wing and extensively revised inlets. Ferrari says this gives a  9 percent efficiency improvement over the 458 racer. 
The 488 provides some driver aids, built around Ferrari's Side Slip Control system and E-diff. The system's behavior can be adjusted with three manettino switches on the steering wheel. 
The 488 Challenge is about a second quicker around the Fiorano test circuit than the 458 Challenge Evo, at 1:15.5. For those of you who keep track of lapping times of race cars versus street cars, that's about 4 seconds faster than a LaFerrari. Of course, none of that really matters in spec racing, but an attractive, exciting car like this should continue to bring the good-sized field which is critical for racing.