Ferrari has revealed more photos and details, mostly about the cockpit, of the upcoming 458 Italia. Replacing the magnificent F430, the Italia features a whole new design inside and out and comes with a monstrous V8 engine developing 570 hp. It’s all very brilliant, only, as you see in the pictures, its front-end looks a bit weird! Maybe we should wait for the IAA to see the car live and then judge it.
Working closely with the Ferrari Styling Centre, the engineers have thus reinterpreted the positioning of the major commands to provide a truly driver-oriented cockpit. All steering-column mounted stalks have been eliminated, with the indicators, full beam, flash and windscreen wiper functions now being activated by buttons on the steering wheel boss. The button to select the shock absorber setting is now positioned next to the ‘Engine start’ button where it falls readily to hand. Behind the wheel are a number of secondary functions, such as the stereo, while the gearbox paddles are now longer making shifts even easier from any steering angle.These solutions represent an important safety aspect, enabling the driver to concentrate fully on driving. Similarly this layout ensures maximum control of the car in high performance driving, an uncompromising approach that derives directly from Ferrari’s F1 experience.
The right-hand satellite pod on the dash incorporates controls for the infotainment, the Bluetooth connection, sat-nav, digital speedo and rear parking camera. Clustered on the left-hand satellite pod instead are the optional cruise control, buttons for choosing the video setting of the left-hand dash TFT screen and the on-board computer interface. The latter controls the trip computer, the Vehicle Dynamic Assistance and the display of the car’s set-up.
The Vehicle Dynamic Assistance monitors the operating parameters of the most important areas of the car – engine/gearbox, tyres and brakes. The VDA is enabled in the following manettino settings – Race, CT off and CST off – and provides visual confirmation of the status of each component based on an algorithm from parameters reading lateral and longitudinal acceleration, revs and speed. This enables the driver to assess the ideal operating conditions for the car. There are three status settings: WARM-UP (operating temperature too low), GO (ideal operating conditions) and OVER (one or more components are no longer at their optimum level and need cooling).
Along with the photos now on-line, the Ferrari site also includes an exclusive video interview with Paolo Pininfarina, Chairman of Pininfarina S.p.A., who provides in depth insight into the 458 Italia’s design philosophy and exterior styling. The next release on www.ferrari.com will include an analysis of the car’s performance characteristics with an interview with seven-times F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher.