Gallery: Ferrari 488 Challenge racer for 2017

Published: 07 December 2016

► New one-make race car replaces 458 Challenge
► First turbocharged Ferrari Challenge car
► Aero enhancements, complex traction control

Ferrari’s rather brilliant 488 GTB was launched in 2015, but this, the one-make racer Ferrari 488 Challenge version, won’t hit the track until the 2017 season.

The Ferrari challenge series, for gentleman drivers in identical Maranello-built race cars, dates all the way back to the 348 in 1992. In the years since its grids have included the 355, 360, 430 and 458 – now it’s the 488’s turn, making it the first turbocharged Ferrari Challenge car.

My, what a mean-looking racing car!

Those headlamp covers give it a rather haughty expression, don’t you think?

A variety of aero enhancements include that giant rear wing, an aggressive canard-clad front bumper and a new bonnet with vents to eject hot air from the radiators in the airflow over the car.

How powerful is the Ferrari 488 Challenge?

The V8’s 661bhp output is unchanged from the road-going 488 GTB’s, but a remap, shorter gear ratios and weight-saving measures throughout the powertrain should make it feel rather more urgent.

What else is new?

The Side Slip Control software that made its debut in the road car has also been carried over to the racing car, working together with the stability control system and electronic differential to fine-tune the attitude of the car as it slides on track.

Continuing the complicated electronics theme, there are not one, but two traction control dials on the steering wheel for drivers to fiddle with as they go wheel-to-wheel with bumper grids in Europe, Asia and North America.

The three separate series kick off in spring 2017. 

Read CAR’s Ferrari 488 Spider review here

Ferrari 488 Challenge for 2017

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, occasional racer