Ferrari 360 Challenge
Ferrari unveiled the 360 Modena in 1999 as the replacement for the critically acclaimed F355. The new car featured an entirely new, significantly lighter aluminum chassis and a brand new V8 engine. While the F355 was more of a significant overhaul of the 348 that preceded it, the 360 Modena was a completely new design. The use of Modena in the name referred to the birthplace of Enzo Ferrari.
Starting in 1993, the Ferrari Challenge catered to the marque’s customers with an interest in racing. It began with the 348, after which both the F355 and 360 were also both converted to racing cars. However, the Ferrari 360 Challenge differed significantly from its predecessor: where the F355 Challenge was essentially a road car with a dealer-supplied conversion kit, the 360 Challenge was built from the ground up to be a true racer.
As a result, the 360 Challenge’s interior is a far cry from the luxurious cockpit found in the 360 Modena. Gone are the leather seats, carpets and aluminum upholstery, replaced by an OMP racing seat, roll cage and a fire extinguisher in place of the passenger seat. Soundproofing materials, airbags, the hand brake, air conditioning and electric window have also all been removed. Official figures from Ferrari state that this rigorous diet shaves off some 110 kilograms compared to the roadgoing 360.
The 3,6 liter V8 remains largely unchanged, featuring the same titanium connecting rods, dry sump oiling system and software controlling the Motronic ME 7.3 fuel injection, drive-by-wire throttle, the variable intake runners, and the exhaust-valve timing found in the 360 Modena. The exhaust system was altered to make it lighter, boosting the power output slightly to 410 horsepower. These changes see the 360 Challenge accelerate from 0 to 100 in 3,9 seconds - over half a second faster than its roadgoing counterpart. Such speed requires some serious stopping power, which is why Brembo provided larger disc brakes (14.0 inch front, 13.0 inch rear) and upgraded calipers, coupled with a specialised ABS software by Bosch.
This particular 360 Challenge (chassis number ZFFYR51B000119892) has never seen a race track. In fact, a readout of the engine revealed that it never revved higher than 4000 rpm. Built in 2004, it remains in original conditions, including the livery with which Ferrari revealed the car to the world’s press in 2000. Written on the door is the name of none other than Michael Schumacher: the seven-time Formula 1 world champion was closely involved with the development of the car.
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