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Ferrari F355 Challenge
Ferrari 360 Challange Stradale

Broadcast dates : 5th December 2004
9th December 2004


The two cars featured today are not just Ferraris. These are competition versions of the production versions and highly prized examples at that.

The Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale is one of a long line of racers for the road built by Ferrari. As the factory says, only features that were absolutely essential to the performance and safety of the car were built in, the rest were left out.
Much use is made of carbon fibre, kevlar, titanium and other lightweight materials to keep the weight to an absolute minimum

A lot of attention was also paid to aerodynamics on the car. The sill extensions on the side are deeper, the nose section is also deeper, and at the rear there is an aerodynamic diffuser to provide loads of extra down-force at speed.

Ferrari claims a fifty per cent increase in down-force on the Stradale over the standard model.

Carbon is also used in the engine with the filter box covers, and the Stradale comes with a competition exhaust system too.

The engine has been modified for track use, although it is still tractable enough to drive to the corner café and back

Peak power has been raised to three-hundred-and-eighteen kilowatts at eight-thousand-five-hundred rpm, thanks to induction and exhaust changes.

This is one of the most powerful naturally-aspirated Ferrari V8s ever built.

The car is fitted with the paddle-shift F1 gearbox, giving the driver options of sport mode for normal driving and a racing mode for lightening gear changes up and down the six-speed ‘box.

Special lexan windows with sliding port holes are also used in place of the standard wind-down windows on the normal 360.

The Challenge Stradale uses stiffened and lowered suspension employing titanium components.

The wheels are nineteen inch in diameter, fitted with ultra low-profile Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres in 225 by 35 sizing at front and 285 by 35’s at the rear.

The brakes are also very special, the discs being of carbon-ceramic construction. Along with six-piston calipers at the front and four-piston calipers at the rear, stopping power is stupendous.

How fast? Well, the factory claims a top speed of over three-hundred kilometres-per-hour and a zero to one-sixty kilometres-per-hour time of nine-comma-seven seconds.
The F355 Challenge is perhaps even more race orientated than the 360 Stradale.

Produced in the mid-1990s, this car a pure-bred competition model, having been built to take part in the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli in Europe.
The F355 was the forerunner of the 360 and many Ferrari fans see this car as a high-point in mid-engined Ferrari design. There is no doubt that this is an out-and-out competition car, as signs of wear and tear are evident, both inside and out.

The engine has a glorious sound, quite different to the 360s and more brutal. It produces two-hundred-and-eighty-five kiloWatts and still uses the manual six-speed gearbox which many enthusiasts prefer as it offers more feel than the paddle-shift option.

Despite being ten years old, this car is still rated at three-hundred kilometres-per-hour with a zero to one-hundred time of four-comma-seven seconds.

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