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As impressive as it may be in its own right, when Ferrari introduces a new V8 supercar, you know there’s more to come. A Spider version. A Challenge racer. Probably a CS/Scuderia-style hardcore street version somewhere down the line. And yes, a GT2 racing version. That appears to be what we’re looking at right here.

Once a top-tier Le Mans contender, Ferrari’s sportscar racing program is largely limited these days to the GT2 category, leaving the likes of Peugeot and Audi to compete for top honors in the LMP1 category and its own sister-company Maserati to fight for GT1 victory.

Itself a replacement for the 360 GTC that came before, the F430 GT2 has been a wildly successful racer, winning its class in both the American Le Mans Series and the FIA GT Championship. But its days are numbered as Maranello has been working on its replacement based on the new 458 Italia. And this is our first proper look at it.

As it stands now, the 458 GT2 has a face that looks something like a jack-o-lantern, but some simple black trim around the maw will surely go great lengths towards rectifying that. And besides, if this machine proves to be as giant a leap forward over the one it replaces as the 458 Italia street car is over the F430, its rivals will only be seeing the back end of it, anyway.

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