Ferrari 488 Challenge - celebrating 25th anniversary of Ferrari's one-make series


December 15, 2016
Featured, Spotlight
Ian McLeigh


  • Ferrari 488 Challenge
  • Ferrari 488 Challenge
  • Ferrari 488 Challenge
  • Ferrari 488 Challenge
  • Ferrari 488 Challenge

The Ferrari 488 Challenge is the latest race car from Maranello factory. It’s the model which will debut on race tracks in 2017 and will mark the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Ferrari’s prestigious international Challenge racing series, that was created back in 1992. Since then, five models were used for the competition: 348 Challenge, F355 Challenge, 360 Challenge, F430 Challenge and 458 Challenge.

The sixth model in the Challenge series since 1992

The 488 Challenge is the sixth model that will participate in Ferrari’s one-make series. The race car is based on the road-legal 488 GTB and it is using the same 3.9-litre V8 engine, awarded as the 2016 International Engine of the Year. It is the first turbocharged Challenge model and the most powerful Challenge car , with a power output of 660 hp.

Ferrari 488 Challenge was unveiled at 2016 Ferrari World Finals at Daytona

Ferrari 488 Challenge was unveiled at 2016 Ferrari World Finals at Daytona

One second faster than predecessor at Fiorano

Thanks to an extensive development of the car’s engine, aerodynamics and chassis, the Ferrari 488 Challenge reached new levels of performance, by being faster than its predecessor 458 Challenge Evo for one second at the Fiorano lap. In comparison to the production of the 488 GTB V8 engine, the Challenge’s powertrain features specific engine mapping, optimized for racing performance, and shorter gear ratios. The F1 DCT transmission features a new racing shift strategy which enables the car to accelerate from a standstill to maximum revs in 4th gear in just six seconds.

Ferrari 488 Challenge

Ferrari 488 Challenge

An engine is 20 kilos lighter than before

Further improvements include a reduction in overall powertrain weight, with 19.7 kg being reduced off the engine and a further 8.5 kg off the exhaust system. Ferrari’s patented Slip Slip Control (SSC) software made its first ever appearance on a Challenge car. The SSC is integrated into the vehicle electronic dynamic controls and is calibrated, along with the traction control and E-Diff3, to improve turn-in, cornering and acceleration out of corners ensuring that a maximum traction is ensured throughout.

Ferrari 488 Challenge

Ferrari 488 Challenge

Completely different aerodynamics compared to production car

When it comes to aerodynamics some noticeable changes have been made. The front radiator layout was reworked, inverting the rake and now they are now towards the rear. This solution improves the air flow over the radiators in racing conditions whilst, at the same time, it is reducing drag. The new layout required new vents at the bottom of the bumper ahead of the wheels. The front bumper itself has been completely redesigned with a more pronounced splitter and flicks to increase a downforce and balance the rear load.

Ferrari 488 Challenge

Ferrari 488 Challenge

Rear wing similar to FIA WEC-winning 488 GTE

The front bonnet is all new with triple vents and integrated flaps to direct the hot airflow from the radiators rearwards. To increase stability at high speeds, the Ferrari 488 Challenge features a bigger rear wing, with an airfoil profile similar to the one used on the 2016 FIA WEC-winning 488 GTE. The intakes on the rear flanks now take cooling air to the rear brakes, optimizing the downforce, while the engine air intakes are now positioned laterally under the rear spoiler, taking the advantage of the high pressure generated in this area.

Photos: races.ferrari.com,

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