Stratstone Ferrari Wilmslow were delighted to welcome the latest 2017 Ferrari 488 Challenge race car over the valentine's period, making a striking addition to the top floor of the multi-level Stratstone Ferrari Wilmslow showroom. But what's so special about the Ferrari 488 Challenge, other than being another epic car to display the iconic prancing horse?
First of all, the Ferrari 488 Challenge will take part in this year's 2017 Ferrari Challenge, alongside other Ferrari 488 and 458 Challenge race cars, across three continents via 18 world-famous race tracks. Previous Ferrari Challenge race cars have included legendary Ferrari models, such as the Ferrari 348, Ferrari F355, Ferrari 360, Ferrari F430 and Ferrari 458.
The brand-new Ferrari 488 Challenge uses the same colossal 661bhp 3.9-litre V8 engine as the Ferrari 488 GTB road car, which was released in 2015. However, the race car has had the Ferrari race engineers work their magic, extensively developing the car with an impressive engine remap and multiple weight saving initiatives - such as shaving 8.5kg off the exhaust and nearly 20kg off the engine. Ferrari have also shortened the gear ratios, increasing acceleration on the Ferrari 488 Challenge by 11.6% over the earlier Ferrari 458 Challenge. Interestingly, unlike the naturally-aspirated Ferrari 458 Challenge, the Ferrari 488 Challenge is now turbo-charged, which teamed with all the other race car enhancements enable a quicker lap time. Unsurprisingly, the Ferrari 488 Challenge is now a full second quicker around Ferrari's Fiorano test track - which is quite substantial in racing.
You don't need a keen eye to spot the many aerodynamic enhancements on this particular Ferrari racer. After all, what is a race car without bold, aerodynamic styling and features? Ferrari have therefore given the front of the 488 Challenge an intimidating presence with an all-new aggressively styled front bumper, featuring aerodynamic canards and a more noticeable race splitter. Prominent bonnet vents aid cooling - which feature flaps which direct airflow towards the radiators, located towards the rear of the car.
The door windows have been swapped for weight saving plastic alternatives, with the sides of the car featuring more aggressive, aerodynamic side-skirts. The Ferrari 488 Challenge also sits on special racing car Pirelli PZERO tyres. The rear of the car is dominated by an enormous carbon-fibre rear wing, which adds typical race car theatre to the rear end and provides the necessary downforce, teamed with the all-important race car diffuser to increase overall airflow.
Finished in a striking yellow paint, with eye catching blue details, the Ferrari 488 Challenge really stands out. But what purpose does the number 25 have on the cars livery? The Ferrari Challenge was first announced in 1992, and so the number 25 is a nod to the 25th anniversary of the Ferrari Challenge race series.
Take a look at what we captured from this special day, to see the new Ferrari 488 Challenge for yourself.