Here’s a Ferrari you’ll never see at the local Starbucks.
That’s not because this particular model is a one-off custom like the SA Arya, it’s because this car was built for racing.
The Ferrari 458 Challenge Evoluzione is an upgraded version of the car Ferrari offers to customers who want to compete in the one-make 458 Challenge. Think of it as the One-Percent’s version of slow-pitch softball.
Ferrari has operated Challenge series for amateur racers who just happen to be rich enough to fund a team since the 355 of the 1990s. The first 458 Challenge was launched in 2010, a few months after the 458 Italia road car arrived in showrooms.
The upgraded Evoluzione version features improved aerodyanmics, and other tweaks designed to increase drivability, Ferrari says. These modifications will be mandatory for all cars competing in the Challenge series.
The 4.5-liter V8 remains essentially unchanged, producing 570 horsepower; a slight bump over the stock 458 Italia’s 562 hp. However, it also has a lower ride height, 19-inch racing wheels mounted on slick tires, and Brembo CCM2 brakes taken from the extreme 599XX track car.
Electronic aids include Ferrari’s F1-Trac traction control system and E-Diff electronic differential. The two systems – as well as the anti-lock braking system – can be adjusted with the “manettino” switch on the car’s steering wheel.
If you want a faster Ferrari, but don’t want to wear a fire suit while driving it, Maranello also offers the 458 Speciale, a hardcore, track-focused versions of the 458 that can be driven on public roads.