A track-only version of Ferrari’s hybrid supercar is undergoing testing at the Nurburgring, possibly in preparation for a one-make race series
The Ferrari Challenge race series appears to be stepping up a gear. Currently, Ferrari customers do battle at circuits across the globe in race-prepped versions of the 488 GTB, but as these spy shots reveal, a far more powerful SF90 Challenge could be joining the grid.
A hardcore road-going SF90 is already rumoured, but the hyper-aggressive variant in these pictures is clearly destined for track use only given its enormous rear wing and sticker kit, which includes “Ferrari Challenge” decals. Another giveaway is that Ferrari tends to avoid fitting large fixed wings to its road cars, and this SF90 sports a towering rear spoiler similar to that of the 488 Challenge EVO.
The wheels of this prototype are lifted from the road car, although bespoke centre-lock items would be expected for the racing variant, shod in slick tyres. Elsewhere, this development car appears to be sporting a redesigned front apron, and there will be significant changes under the skin if it is indeed a Challenge model.
These could include new chassis electronics for track-optimised ABS and traction control systems, as well as a reworked differential, carbon ceramic brakes and upgraded suspension. Given that the 488 Challenge Evo didn’t receive a power uplift over the base car, the SF90’s 735kW output could remain unchanged.
The SF90 Challenge could, however, pose a unique challenge on track due to its hybrid system. It combines a mid-mounted 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 with three electric motors, and drivers could potentially be able to alter the deployment of electric power throughout a stint for strategic benefit.
Inside, the race car could feature an F1-style steering wheel, a roll cage and a rear-view camera, as well as a pair of bespoke bucket seats. A digital instrument display and a redesigned dashboard panel would also be expected, featuring physical switchgear for the SF90’s major controls.