Ferrari reveals more details about the 458 Italia before Frankfurt, including its F1-inspired steering wheel.
Antuan GoodwinReviews Editor / Cars
Antuan Goodwin gained his automotive knowledge the old fashioned way, by turning wrenches in a driveway and picking up speeding tickets. From drivetrain tech and electrification to car audio installs and cabin tech, if it's on wheels, Antuan is knowledgeable.
ExpertiseReviewing cars and car technology since 2008 focusing on electrification, driver assistance and infotainmentCredentials
North American Car, Truck and SUV of the Year (NACTOY) Awards Juror
We're still drooling over the last batch of photos and details of the Ferrari 458 Italia, but Ferrari has released even more info leading up to the supercar's official unveiling at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show, including shots of the interior.
Of particular interest is the F1-inspired steering wheel which takes all of the controls most often accessed by the driver and relocates them to the steering wheel's face. Gone are the stalks for turn signals, headlamps, and windshield wipers. In their place are thumb actuated buttons. Also on the wheel are buttons for cycling through the suspension modes, a dial for selecting from the different Vehicle Dynamics Assistance settings. Even the big red start/stop button has been moved to the steering wheel.
What's not visible in the picture are audio controls mounted on the back of the steering wheels or the big paddle shifters. We're assuming that those audio controls include some sort of a joystick interface, judging by the graphics on the LCD screens that flank the 458's massive tachometer. The graphics also reveal available Bluetooth handsfree, GPS navigation, and multimedia connectivity (potentially iPod) for the Italian stallion. A configurable performance computer (à la Nissan GT-R) occupies the left-hand LCD screen.
Less frequently used controls have been relocated to one of two pods that sit on either side of the wheel, still within arms reach. Climate controls appear to have remained in their traditional center stack position.
The upshot is that the 458's driver will be able to keep his hands on the wheel while driving. When you're wrangling 570 horses and 398 pound-feet of torque, that's a very good thing.