2003→2004 Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale


2003→2004 Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale

Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale

At the 2003 Geneva Auto Show, Ferrari released an upgrade package for their 360 Modena. Since that time, the Challenge Stradale option has been a must for customers buying a 360 late in the production line.

So what does the extra $46 000 USD bring to the table? It is first necessary to take a look at the exceptional automobile upon which this car is based. Having an all-aluminum monocoque and a flat-plane V8 whipping out 395 bhp, the 360 Modena has raised Ferrari’s standards from the preceding F355 that came before it. With these elements, and Pininfarina’s timeless styling, it was foolishly easy to call the 360 the perfect sports car. And many publications did just that.

Like the dual purpose road / race Ferraris of the sixties, the 360 has benefited from diverse motor sport programs. Considering that 300 examples have been racing in a Challenge program since 2001, and Ferrari’s factory GT Endurance model debuted late the same year, the series has been benefiting from hours of track time. These cars have motivated Ferrari to offer their developments in the road-going 360 Challenge Stradale.

2003→2004 Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale

Challenge Stradale

Outwardly, only subtle differences differentiate the Challenge Stradale from other 360s. Dont let aesthetics fool anyone, the Challenge Stradale is comprehensively upgraded to include only proven performance enhancements. One of Patrizio Moruzzi’s design goals was to reduce three seconds off the 360’s Fiorano lap record. He and his team succeeded.

The huge performance gains can largely by attributed to increase in power and a reduction in weight. Ferrari put the 360 on a titanium and carbon fiber diet which shed 243 lbs (110 kgs) off the car.

Passengers are easily reminded off the Stradale’s weight through a reduced interior which features no carpeting, rubber floor mars and carbon fiber seats finished in leather or fire-resistant fabric. The rest of interior is purpose-built, with a bright yellow tach highlighting the Alcantara trimmed dash. For the more hardcore enthusiast, appointments can include four-point racing harnesses, a roll bar or lexan sliding widows to replace the electric counterparts. Air conditioning is a standard feature and is one of the only compromises to help the sale-ability of the car.

2003→2004 Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale

Weight and aesthetics aside, the Stradale does everything a lot faster than before: reaches sixty in 4.1 seconds, stops with the Enzos carbon brakes and changes gears in 150 milliseconds.

Fine tuning is how the engineers at Ferrari extract more power from the 3.6 liter V8. More horsepower is realized through a high-compression combustion chambers, polished ports, and a larger intake tract. Attached is a dual-flow exhaust which, by means of a valve, can bypass most of the deadening for a blaring symphony of noise. This wail is distinctive of the Stradale.

A six speed semi-automatic transmission comes standard on all Stradales. It works in conjunction with the onboard computer which s largely invisible from the cockpit. To maintain different levels of comfort the Stradale can be switched to sport or race modes. When race mode is selected, the transmission halves it shift time to150 milliseconds, but the shifting is less comfortable and more lumpy.

2003→2004 Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale

The Stradale sits lower than other 360s thanks to stiffer titanium springs. Computer controlled damping is adjustable and changes with the various driving modes. Also adjustable is the level of traction control which can be turned off.

Aerodynamics played a large role in the Stradales development. By extending the front lips and reshaping the rear deck lid as well as the side profile this car generates more down force than the standard model. With its entirely new carbon fiber under tray, the Stradale offers a substantial increase in down force above 100 mph. This down force comes at no extra cost as drag remained constant during development.

Conclusion

The Challenge Stradale is much more than a redressed 360 with extra power. It is a welcomed conclusion to a series which has benefited from Ferrari Challenge and FIA GT events. Its bare-bones approach and subtle styling changes only hint at the thoroughbred under the skin: this is a road-legal car that is entirely race-ready and at home on track.

Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale Gallery

See full 2003 Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale Gallery here

Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale Video

In Detail

submitted byRichard Owen
typeSeries Production Car
production years2003 – 2004
built atItaly
production1274
price $$ 240,000
engineAll Aluminum V8
positionMid Longitudinal
aspirationNatural
valvetrainDOHC, 5 Valves per Cyl
fuel feedSequential Electronic Ignition
displacement3586 cc / 218.8 in³
bore85 mm / 3.35 in
stroke79 mm / 3.11 in
compression11.2:1
power316.9 kw / 425 bhp @ 8500 rpm
specific output118.52 bhp per litre
bhp/weight332.03 bhp per tonne
torque373 nm / 275 ft lbs @ 4750 rpm
body / frameAluminum Monocoque
driven wheelsRWD
wheel type19
front tires225/35ZR19 Pirelli P Zero Corsa
rear tires285/35ZR19 Pirelli P Zero Corsa
front brakesInner Ventilated Carbon Ceramic Discs w/6-Piston Calipers, Vacuum Assist & ABS
rear brakesInner Ventilated Carbon Ceramic Discs w/4-Piston Calipers, Vacuum Assist & ABS
f suspensionDouble Wishbones w/Coil Springs, Active Damping, Anti-Roll Bar
r suspensionDouble Wishbones w/Coil Springs, Active Damping, Anti-Roll Baroll Bar
curb weight1280 kg / 2822 lbs
wheelbase2600 mm / 102.4 in
front track1669 mm / 65.7 in
rear track1617 mm / 63.7 in
length4477 mm / 176.3 in
width1922 mm / 75.7 in
height1184 mm / 46.6 in
transmissionF1 Electrohydraulic Shift Sequential
top speed~299.3 kph / 186.0 mph
0 – 60 mph~4.1 seconds
0 – 1/4 mile~12.1 seconds
fuel capacity95 litres or 25.08 gal.

Auction Sales History

2003→2004 Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale

2004 Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale ZFFDU57A140134718 – did not sell for $286,000 Stunning Race-Bred Ferrari Road Car. Tricolore Stripe and Scuderia Shields. An Unparalleled Engineering Triumph. Complete with Books, Manuals, and Tools. Less Than 1,500 Miles From New. Auction Source: The Scottsdale Auctions 2015 by Gooding & Company

 

Sources & Further Reading

Jouret, Jackie. ‘Racings Real Reward’. Forza, October 2003.
Ferrari S.p.A. ‘360 Challenge Stradale’. Cavallino 135, June/July 2003.
Barker, John. ‘Silver Scream’. EVO, July 2003.