By Amos Kwon
on 1.20.11

A. Smart: Steering wheel mounted Manettino to adjust F1-Trac high-performance traction control system, suspension and E-diff settings
B. Symphonic: Intentional removal of the audio system so you can hear the sonorous V8 and listen to yourself scream with joy
C. Sleek: Formula 1 aerodynamics to decrease lift and increase downforce and cooling. More traction, less drag.
D. Lower: 30mm lowered ride height
E. Stops: Brembo CCM2 Carbon Ceramic brakes
F. Lighter: Extensive use of carbon-fiber and Lexan (instead of glass) to reduce weight
G. Grips: Super fat Pirelli slick tires designed for track use
H. Sleek x2: Additional Formula 1 aerodynamic elements. Far more than your everyday spoiler.

When is a Ferrari more than a Ferrari? Exactly when the Italian automotive pioneer decides they will manufacture a Challenge (track) version of their best performing production vehicle for a single-series race event and special customers. In this case, the standard Ferrari 458 Italia is refined, lightened and the Cavallino Rampante is unbridled.

Continues after the jump.

This process is tantamount to making Monica Bellucci more sexy, as the standard 458 is already one of the best performing vehicles in history. The screaming direct-injection 570 hp V8 from the original remains but with modified gear ratios, recalibrated dual clutch F1 transmission for increased torque at the low-end and the new E-Diff electronic differential. Extensive use of carbon-fiber and Lexan contribute to thinner and lighter body panels, aiding in the horsepower-to-weight ratio.

The suspension is beefed up significantly with solid aluminum bushings, firmer springs and single-rate dampers. Aiding handling and traction are center-nut 19″ racing wheels, wider Pirelli slick tires and a 30mm lower ride height. The 458 Challenge also Shanghais the Brembo CCM2 brakes from the padded-room insane Ferrari 599XX, the experimental track car created for only a select few customers. And for the first time on a Ferrari Challenge, the F1-Trac traction control system is utilized, monitoring grip levels to provide ultimate traction in wet or dry conditions. F1-Trac and E-Diff combine to rocket you out of the apex rapidly, along with mashing your lunch from one rib cage to the other due to the skull slapping 1.6G inflicted by the 458 Challenge. All setups can be customized on Ferrari’s manettino or “little manager” switch on the steering wheel, thankfully.

Don’t go looking for this precision monster at your local Ferrari dealership, son. Extremely limited numbers and the requirement of a special relationship with Ferrari will prevent any yahoo looking to upgrade from his 1977 Screamin’ Chicken Trans Am. And if you have to ask, you can’t afford it. Just keep drooling when it shows up on Gran Turismo 6.

Buy Now: TBD

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