The Ferrari 360 Modena Challenge Sports Car

The Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale – A close look at this classic sports car’s performance, technical data, features, comparing rivals, history, used prices

from Classic to Modern

THE CAR

The Modena Challenge sports car was, like the Challenge Stradale, based on the 360 Modena but, in this case, it was not a legal road-going car.

Instead, it was a modified racer that was designed to compete in the single marque Ferrari Challenge Series as did its predecessors, the Ferrari 348 and 355 Challenge variants.

Powered by a 3.6 litre, V8 engine, the 360 Modena Challenge developed 410 bhp at 8500 rpm, and 286 ft/lbs of torque at 4750 rpm, and produced a top speed of 185 mph, with a 0-62 mph time of 3.9 secs.

Originally priced at $175,000, the 360MC (its alternative designation) was fitted with larger, lightweight Brembo carbon composite vented disc brakes all round, with extra cooling ducts, and linked to a race-tuned ABS system that was electronically controlled using Bosch ASR anti-lock and traction control.

A much lighter-weight exhaust system and bumpers were included.

The 360 MC was not provided with a factory produced kit to upgrade the basic car to track specification, as was the case with the 348 and 355 Challenge versions.

In this case, the 360 Challenge was solely a factory built racer which provided greater scope for substantial weight reduction.

It was for this reason that it could outperform the road legal variants even though power from the same 3.6 litre engine was much the same.

In order to minimise weight, the interior was stripped of all non-essential fitments, such as air conditioning, soundproofing, interior trim, and electric windows.

As a result, the total weight was reduced by 320 pounds, and yet it was still 300 pounds lighter than the 355 Challenge car.

It was fitted with a roll cage, a carbon fibre racing seat and harness, a larger anti-roll bar, racing springs, and a fire suppression system.

All the instruments were replaced by a Magneti Marelli LCD display panel positioned on the bulkhead.

The suspension was modified, and included adjustable racing dampers.

It retained dry sump lubrication and the two Motronic ME 7.3 engine control units, whilst the exhaust system had only one catalytic converter which helped improve output.

It was capable of producing nearly 400 pounds of aerodynamic down-force when driven hard.

Since the manual gearbox was not available on the 360MC, it had a six speed F1-style paddle shift gear change, with the right hand paddle for changing up having been extended by around an inch in order to make gear changing easier whilst turning the wheel.

This was a much needed improvement over earlier versions. 360 data:

COMPETITION

Typical competition for the Ferrari 360 Modena Challenge sports car included the following: Porsche 996 Turbo, and Dodge Viper SRT-10. Ferrari performance:

SPORTS CARS FOR SALE

A Ferrari 360 Modena Challenge in excellent condition sold at auction for $91,000.

Yet another of the classic cars from Ferrari.

This marks the end of my Review of the Ferrari 360 Modena Challenge sports car

The Ferrari 355 Challenge Sports Car

The Ferrari 355 Challenge – A close look at this classic sports car’s performance, technical data, features, comparing rivals, history, used prices.

From Classic to Modern:

THE CAR

The Ferrari 348 Challenge sports car was a race Series for amateur drivers, first established in 1993.

Ferrari offered an optional Challenge kit priced at $14,000 and, by using it, the original 348 could be transformed into the race version in the order of 60 man hours.

The 3.4 litre, V8 engine used in the Challenge Series, when converted, would develop an output of 320 bhp.

The 348 Challenge car’s last season was in 1995, which coincided with the launch of the 355 Challenge variant.

The Ferrari 355 Challenge car consisted of a basic 355 Berlinetta 3.5 litre coupe that had been modified using a Challenge kit costing $30,000, and supplied by Ferrari.

These kits first became available in 1996, and the conversion required 110 man hours to fully install. The early cars came with the roll cage mounting points already fitted by the factory.

Some of the components included in the Challenge kit included:

  • Racing – clutch, springs, slick tyres, steering wheel, and seats
  • Roll cage
  • Safety harness
  • Carbon fibre rear wing
  • Uprated 14 inch lightweight Brembo composite disc brakes with cooling ducts
  • 18 inch Speedline wheels
  • Safety engine cut-off switch
  • Lightweight exhaust system and front bumper
  • Modified steering rack

Between 1996 and 1997, the 355 Challenge cars came factory fitted with a steady increase in race parts until, in 1998, the final evolution variant was available as an almost complete factory assembled race car. However, some parts still needed to be added, such as the wings.

A total of 108 of the 355 Challenge cars were built, and fitted with six speed gearboxes, together with a plaque at the rear denoting “355 Challenge”.

A small number of right hand drive variants were exported to the UK where they were further modified into race trim.

It has been suggested that a handful of these cars have subsequently been converted into road-going variants.

COMPETITION

Typical competition for the Ferrari 355 Challenge were the following: Porsche 996 GT3, Nissan R390 GTI, and TVR Cerbera. Ferrari performance:

SPORTS CARS FOR SALE

Since a Ferrari 355 Challenge car is not easy to find, this will be reflected in the price. An excellent example would sell at auction within the range $70,000 to $90,000.

This is another of the classic cars from Ferrari.

This marks the end of my Review of the Ferrari 355 Challenge sports car.