The Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo made its initial appearance during the Ferrari Finali Mondiali at the Mugello Circuit. Ferrari produced a kit that enhanced the 488 Challenge’s overall performance and consistency under race conditions. The creation provided improved handling for even greater feedback and driving pleasure.
History of the Ferrari Challenge
It was in the autumn of 1992 that the Ferrari Challenge, their first single-make racing series, was launched at Mugello. The series was an immediate hit for car enthusiasts who didn’t want to simply enjoy the drive but also wanted to experience competition racing.
To be ensured the highest chance of participation success, it was essential to have the availability of a uniquely built turn-key track car with fuel, tires, on-site support crews, and parts, all of which made the series particularly attractive to an extensive range of drivers. Since it was released, the popularity of the single-marque series has grown considerably as it delivers enthusiasts a factory race car that can provide dependable performance while only incurring moderate costs.
Developing the Ferrari 488 Challenge
Starting with the 348 and progressing to the 355 and 360 Modena, the F430 and 458 were significant advances both in platform and performance technology. Having produced these vehicles to race in international GT and prototype championships, over time many Ferrari Challenge cars have raced in FIA World Endurance races, Grand-Am, IMSA events, and even at Le Mans.
After continuous improvements and enhancements from Ferraris specialist racing programs, the 458 was tremendously improved. In 2015, Ferrari introduced the 488 which had exceptional engineering and combined a striking aerodynamically refined body design with enhanced air management.
The 488 Challenge is fitted with a 3.9-liter turbocharged V8 engine which produces a staggering 660 hp. The powerful and responsive engine delivered a new Fiorani lap time record which was 8 seconds faster than a stock 488 and a second faster than the previous 458. This was achieved via specialized engine mapping and shorter gear ratios, which enhanced performance through variable torque management, particularly tapping into diagnostics for the turbocharged V8 engine.
The F1 derived DCT paddle shift transmission and SSC (Side Slip Control) software, coupled with traction control and E-Diff3, enhanced corner exit speeds by positive traction in all dynamic driving circumstances. Drivers could also modify their braking, steering, and traction control requirements through independent manual settings with onboard software detecting the magnitude of torque to the rear wheels.
The 488 Challenge is a technically advanced unit making it ideal for a variety of drivers and uses. Offering ongoing track support and factory improvements along with Corso Pilota (driver training) at various North American locations, the Ferrari 488 Challenge is the ideal vehicle for any enthusiastic driver wanting to compete at the highest levels.
488 Challenge Evo Package
The Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo package gives substantial technical enhancement in terms of speed and performance in the already powerful 488 Challenge. Not only are the performance benchmarks substantially improved compared to the Challenge, but the Evo kit also provides that added edge of confidence; one step closer to the near-perfect racing machine.
The Evo package delivers astounding track performance by producing higher downforce and reducing aerodynamic drag. The downforce over the newly created Evo front has been improved, allowing for balance ‘dialogues’ with the E-Diff3 and F1-TCS control systems based on the Side Slip Control (SSC), allowing advanced dedicated settings offered exclusively in the Evo package. Even the SSC yaw angle controls have been adjusted to the new performance levels that improve agility in cornering traction on exit.
Aside from improvements to the internal control, there is also a comprehensive redesign of the front of the vehicle with the EVO upgrade which improved aerodynamic efficiency by 30% compared to the 488 Challenge. Overall downforce and balance are optimized by altering the length of the front overhang.
The intake profiles of the forward radiators have been lengthened, and in the middle of the bumper, a U-shaped intake feeds the front brakes, improving the 488 Challenge EVO’s more pronounced racing character.
To improve the control and direction of the airflow from the side vents, a large splitter with turning vanes at each end is used.
The bumper ends have been re-proportioned, decreasing surface volume, enhanced with a second side flick to help control high-speed airflow.
Additional upgrades for the Evo include new side mirror winglets with endplate diverters improving intercooler air flow.
At the rear of the vehicle, the FXX-K heritage becomes clear with two big vents that efficiently remove wheel arch airflow. Under the rear spoiler, a new air vent is set into the engine air outlet grille particularly designed to improve downforce. A new nolder (aero trim feature) is located on the rear wing, providing an increase in downforce without creating drag.
Independent front and rear downforce adjustments can be made to articulate the balance without having to modify the ride height, which is a first in the Ferrari series. The driver can choose various configurations ranging from high downforce to low downforce prior to each race, depending on the circuit’s features and weather situations. In particular, a 20% increase in downforce over the front axle is produced when compared to the 488 Challenge.
Also, underbody vortex generators serve to decrease air pressure underneath the car, thereby enhancing overall downforce.
Lab and track tested Pirelli tires 275/675-19 (front) and 315/705-19 (rear) were added to increase the overall performance and consistency in lap times during a long run session. The new front disc design and larger rear discs, are some changes made in the new braking system to improve racing run time and also to lessen brake wear.
Other improvements include upgrades to the anti lock brakes, electronic differential, and traction control system.
Interior of the Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo
For the interior of the Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo, the most notable upgrade is the F1 derived steering wheel, made from the experience gained from racing the FXX-K Evo and the 488 GTE, which have both won at Le Mans.
The paddle-shift was integrated into the steering wheel to improve driver ergonomics so that the hands are in constant optimal driving position as well as improved visibility and control of the car’s systems.
A new ABS management system is also added in the manettino (adjustable dial). There are also four modes that the driver can choose from, two dry and two wet, to improve stability and performance.
This example on display is a 2018 model with features that are identical to the 2019 488 Challenge and is currently on offer at Fantasy Junction.
Aside from factory specifications, this example has been upgraded by Ferrari Scuderia with its 2020 EVO package. It is a $60,000+ factory authorized package upgrade that is specifically retrofittable to a 2018 or 2019 488 Challenge for those who want to upgrade their car to the ultimate Challenge specifications.
Complete with factory support and trackside participation, the Ferrari Challenge series is simply one of the best cars available for enthusiasts who are looking for that high-performance track car. Being the most technologically sophisticated Challenge car ever made, the Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo is the ultimate competition partner, created to deliver premier circuit performance.
Further information regarding this 2018 Ferrari Challenge Evo can be found at Fantasy Junction.