The 2016 Ferrari World Finals event in Daytona saw the unveiling of the latest model to join the ranks of Ferrari's prestigious international Challenge racing series for clients. The Ferrari 488 Challenge is the sixth model to participate in the one-make series which, in 2017, celebrates its 25th anniversary. Since the announcement of the racing series in 1992, there have already been over 1000 races, with over 1000 drivers taking part in up to three series organised on three continents. Over the years, the Ferrari Challenge has proved to be an ideal platform for drivers looking to compete in international GT and prototype championships, and an impressive number have gone on to win in Grand-Am, IMSA, the FIA World Endurance Championship and even the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Ferrari 488 Challenge is the first ever turbo-charged model to race and is the most powerful Challenge car ever, powered by the 670 cv 3.9-litre V8 derived from the series production engine that took the overall 2016 International Engine of the Year Award. Thanks to extensive development of the car's engine, aerodynamics and chassis, the Ferrari 488 Challenge reaches new levels of performance, chopping a second off the Fiorano lap time of the preceding 458 Challenge EVO for a new record of 1'15.5".
Compared to the production 488 GTB V8, the Challenge's powertrain features specific engine mapping, optimised for racing performance, and shorter gear ratios. The variable torque management has been modified to prompt the driver to shift up at the ideal moment during longitudinal acceleration, thus making maximum use of the performance characteristics of the turbo engine. The F1 DCT transmission features a new racing shift strategy which enables the car to accelerate from a standstill to maximum revs in 4th gear in just six seconds. Further improvements include a reduction in overall powertrain weight.