The engineers in Maranello relied on their extensive F1 and track experience to completely redesign the 458 Italia human machine interface, providing a truly ergonomic, driver-oriented cockpit with the aim to have a machine becoming the natural extension of the driver's body and hands. In the Ferrari 458 Italia all the vehicle main controls are now clustered directly on the steering wheel, while secondary functions are set in two satellite pods on either side of the dash. The panel ahead of the driver includes comprehensive instrument display screens which enable the driver to fully concentrate on driving and thus representing another important safety component.
The elimination of the steering column mounted stalks and the clustering of the main controls on the steering wheel allow the driver to make all the adjustments or gearshifts with his / her hands firmly on the rim. This is yet another example of a track-derived feature boasted by the 458 Italia which ensures the car to achieve maximum performances under all driving conditions. The F1 gear-shift paddles are now more functional and ergonomic as they increase in size and are also independent from steering wheel activities, making them easier and more comfortable to use.
Ferrari 458 Italia boasts carbon-ceramic discs which contribute to save five kilos Compare to exactly high performance traditional cast iron brakes. The power brake's pump has been dimensioned to match the increased size of discs and ensure adequate response to the pedal. The CCM system guarantees constant pedal travel even under repeated braking conditions and also dispenses with fade under hard use, such as at the track. More rapid response to the pedal ensures also a shorter stopping distance.
The 458 Italia's modular space frame chassis has been entirely redesigned and consist of castings, extrusions and panels. The technology and aluminum material behind the chassis derive from the aerospace industry, which is significantly contributed to reduce the car weight as well as maximize its performances. Torsional rigidity, for instance, is up 15 per cent compared to the F430, while beam stiffness is up 5 per cent. The engineers have also focused on improving quality conformance and minimizing assistance time. A result achieved by adopting high pressure die-casting processes that allows minimizing the number of components and by including removable subassemblies in the engine compartment. The same techniques used for the chassis have also extended to the aluminum body shell, doors, bonnet and engine cover in order to ensure the same materials benefits and manufacturing innovations.