2013 Ferrari 458 Challenge Evoluzione

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561 bhp, 4,400 cc 90-degree V-8 engine, seven-speed F1 dual-clutch gearbox, front double-wishbone and rear multilink suspension with Magnetorheological shock absorbers and single-rate alloy dampers, and four-wheel Brembo CCM2 carbon-ceramic brakes. Wheelbase: 104.29 in.

  • The fifth model of Ferrari’s popular Challenge series
  • Upgraded to Evoluzione specifications
  • Single ownership from new; never raced and presented in as-new condition

The Ferrari Challenge Series was established in 1993, and it sought to introduce more Ferrari customers to racing by offering a single-marque racing series with Ferrari’s then-current production mid-engine V-8 sports car, the 348. Utilizing a platform that is currently in production as a road car allowed Ferrari to offer drivers a car that was vastly similar to one they might already have in their garage, giving them a chance to venture out onto the track in a vehicle that is already inherently familiar. From its outset, the Challenge series proved to be quite successful, and Ferrari dealerships saw an influx of customers looking to compete from all over the world.

As the fifth and current model campaigned in the Challenge series, the 458 is, by far, the most technologically advanced of the series. It retains the same power output of a standard street-legal 458, but the gear ratios and calibration of the dual-clutch gearbox were changed in order to provide greater low-end torque. Performance was also increased due to a focus on reducing weight wherever possible, which was done by utilizing many carbon-fiber components and fitting thinner body panels. Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes and an advanced ABS system developed on Ferrari’s 599XX were also fitted to improve braking and handling performance. Yet another feature that differentiates it from its road-legal sibling is the Ferrari’s F1-Trac, which is a highly advanced traction-control system that continuously monitors grip to distribute the maximum amount of performance given the current track conditions. For cars destined for the American market, the standard Lexan side windows were completely removed and replaced with safety nets. This experience is normally reserved for just the driver, but the 458 Challenge comes equipped with a removable passenger seat for an instructor, or a lucky passenger, to ride along.

The Evoluzione, or “Evo,” package for the 458 Challenge, new for the 2014 season, introduced a host of welcome updates to the 458 platform. While the Evo kit retains the same engine and transmission of the original car, Ferrari’s Corse Clienti department went to great lengths to improve the aerodynamics and available downforce on the car. As such, the Evo package adds a revised rear bumper, diffuser, and spoiler, as well as a revised front bumper and splitter, which have all been derived from the GT3-spec 458 race car. These improvements have made the car more drivable overall and have brought greater stability at high speeds. For the upcoming seasons of the Ferrari Challenge Series, all 458 Challenge cars must be fitted with the Evoluzione package to be eligible for competition. Current owners of the standard 458 Challenge can purchase the package in order to upgrade their existing car, while new owners can purchase a 458 Challenge with the Evoluzione kit already installed at the factory prior to delivery.

This specific 2013 example, finished in Nero, was delivered to its first and current owner in the summer of 2013. It was used for just two half-day sessions with the Ferrari Club of America at Watkins Glen and two four-hour “shake-down” sessions over the course of two days at Daytona International Speedway in January 2014. In early May 2014, the Evo kit was installed, making this 458 eligible for the upcoming Challenge seasons. Since its upgrade to Evoluzione specifications, this car has yet to be driven and is essentially in as-new condition. The car comes complete with all the requisite accessories to compete in future Challenge events and includes a set of magnesium wheels with racing slicks, as well as onboard cameras and computers, which are necessary to record race telemetry.

The Ferrari Challenge Series has proven to be quite popular amongst tifosi well into its 21st year, as it provides an excellent entry for a Ferrari owner to experience the thrills of a new Ferrari at speed on the race track. This nearly new 458 Challenge Evoluzione is ready for the remainder of the 2015/2016 season, and it would be an exhilarating vehicle for either the dedicated track-day enthusiast or an individual new to racing.

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Text by RM Sotheby’s

Photos by Patrick Ernzen courtesy of RM Sotheby’s