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Monday, December 5, 2016

Ferrari 488 Challenge Puts Turbos On Track [w/Video]

#Ferrari is at least as much about racing as it is concerned with making road #cars. Where the two come together is in its race-converted #supercars, like those it builds for its in-house Challenge racing series. And it just revealed the latest model.

Revealed at Daytona during the Finali Mondiali event is the new Ferrari 488 Challenge – the sixth model of its kind and the first to go turbo. It's motivated by the same 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8 as the road-going 488 GTB, producing the same 661 horsepower. But thanks to other modifications, it's a heck of a lot faster.

The engine is remapped and unburdened by 43 pounds of excess weight. The exhaust shaves another 19 lbs, and the gearbox has been reprogrammed and fitted with shorter ratios. The Slip Angle Control system has been reprogrammed as well, but the biggest changes were made to the vehicle's aerodynamics.

Most obvious is the giant rear wing, derived from the unit designed for the 488 GTE that was revealed at the same event last year, and went on to win its class in the FIA World Endurance Championship this season.

The front end has been redesigned as well, with inverted radiators to both improve cooling and reduce drag. And as you can see, there are new vents all over to help keep everything at optimal operating temperatures while being hammered around the track for lap after lap.

The sum total is a car that can lap Ferrari's famed Fiorano test track in 1:15.5. That's a full second faster than the 458 Challenge Evo it replaces, a solid seven and a half seconds faster than the street-legal 488 GTB on which it's based, and more than four seconds faster than LaFerrari (the fastest road car ever to lap the circuit). That's what big aero and racing slicks will do for ya.

Launched in 1992 with the 348, the Ferrari Challenge is celebrates its 25th anniversary next year. Over the course of that quarter-century, the series has attracted over 1,000 drivers to take part in more than 1,000 races across three continents.

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