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Ferrari reveals more 458 details

Inside story: Ferrari's new 458 will have indicators and other driving controls on the steering wheel.

Prancing Horse brand reveals more info on F1-inspired cockpit of its new 458 Italia

Ferrari logo31 Aug 2009

By MARTON PETTENDY

FERRARI has revealed more details of the ground-breaking new Formula One-style cockpit to be featured in its upcoming F430 replacement, the 458 Italia.

As revealed in July, the Italian supercar-maker’s newest two-seater V8 coupe will make its global debut at the Frankfurt motor show on September 15, before arriving in Australia and New Zealand in mid-2010 with a price tag of about $500,000.

Ferrari has now revealed the first action, engine and interior images of its new entry-level coupe, after the announcement of its basic specifications last month.

The 458 Italia will come with a redesigned interior layout, which groups primary vehicle controls on a new F1-inspired steering wheel, secondary controls into two satellite pods positioned either side of it on a futuristic new dashboard and comprehensive new information displays on the instrument panel.

34 center imageClaimed to be the most logical cockpit configuration in both safety and functionality, the new driver-focussed layout was developed with the Ferrari Styling Centre and eliminates all steering column-mounted stalks, with the indicator, high-beam flash and windscreen wiper controls now operated via the steering wheel boss.

A button to select shock absorber settings is positioned next to the engine start button, while Ferrari’s famed ‘manettino’ switch is positioned on the opposing side of the flat-bottomed, three-spoke leather-clad steering wheel, which also features horn buttons in the thumb-grabs of the steering wheel rim itself.

It controls the Vehicle Dynamic Assistance (VDA) system that monitors the engine/gearbox, tyres and brakes, with five settings available: Normal, Sport, Race, CT off and CST off.

Visual confirmation of the selected VDA status appears alongside an outside temperature display in the new instrument panel, which also comprises analogue oil pressure and volt meter gauges and a digital fuel gauge to the left of the large yellow tacho, which features a 9000rpm redline, making this the highest-revving engine to ever power a Ferrari.

An infotainment status display appears at the right of the instrument panel, including navigation, radio, media and phone functions. Along with the Bluetooth connection, rear parking camera and digital speedo, these functions are operated via the right-hand satellite pod, while the left-hand pod operates the (optional) cruise control system and trip computer functions.

While Ferrari has made the 458’s gearshift paddles longer (“making shifts even easier from any steering angle”), the Maranello maker has not bowed to criticism of their traditional placement on the steering column.

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