• Jul 31st 2010 at 7:59PM
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Ferrari 458 Challenge - Click above for high-res image gallery

A few weeks ago, Ferrari officially debuted its latest Challenge race car, based on the 458 Italia. Now they've released new photos of the car during its test session at the Vallelunga race circuit. Factory test drivers Maurizio Mediani and Jaime Melo were on hand to provide feedback on the 458 Challenge, and predictably, both seem impressed with the car's capabilities. Mediani described his drive as "very quick and extremely good fun," while his counterpart commented, "I am sure that Prancing Horse competition owners will be very pleased with the car."

Using the standard roadgoing 458 Italia as a base, Ferrari creates the Challenge version by increasing output of the 4.5-liter V8 to 570 horsepower, cutting weight via thinner and lighter body panels, adding a race-specific suspension setup, fitting 19-inch BBS wheels with Pirelli racing slicks, installing a set of carbon ceramic Brembo brakes and more.

So equipped, Ferrari claims the 458 Challenge can lap Fiorano over two seconds per lap quicker than its predecessor, the F430 Challenge, while pulling a cornea-yanking 1.6g's worth of lateral acceleration. You can check out the new photos below, and we'll be sure to bring you any more if Ferrari sends them our way.

[Source: Ferrari]

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