Ferrari 488 Challenge. Farewell 458

Ferrari unveils the new 488 Challenge, which is set to make its competitive debut in Maranello’s single-make racing series in 2017.

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I’ll give you a second to pick your jaws up from off the floor.

After nearly a decade of faithful racing service, the 458 Challenge – Ferrari’s race-spec contender in its single-make Challenge series – nears retirement, the all-new 488 Challenge set to take its place from 2017 onwards.

Equipped with the same 3.9-litre V8 as its road-going counterpart, the 488 Challenge marks the first time a turbocharged Ferrari has competed in the series since its inaugural run in 1992. Power and performance figures have yet to be announced, although the company confirms that ‘extensive development of the car’s engine, aerodynamics and chassis’ allow the 488 to lap Ferrari’s official test circuit in Fiorano one second faster than the 458 it replaces.

There’s much more to that fabulous revised bodywork than a very yellow paint livery though. Tweaks to the front radiator improve airflow over the body, much like the new vents behind the front wheels. The front bumper has been completely redesigned with a more pronounced front splitter, and the bonnet now features triple vents and integrated flaps to channel hot air away from the radiators. At the back is a fixed rear wing, inspired by the component used on the FIA World Endurance Championship-contending 488 GTE. Intakes on the rear flanks meanwhile help cool the larger brake discs.

Onto the mechanical side, the V8 now features bespoke engine-mapping for ‘racing performance’, while the F1-derived dual clutch transmission has been similarly setup for the track. The powertrain has received a crash diet, but again, no official figures jave been released.

Okay, enough technical bumpf. Time to check out the debut of the 488 Challenge at the Ferrari World Finals event at Daytona this week.

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