The Ferrari F430 - Manettino And Vehicle Set-Up | Part Five

Ferrari F430

Ferrari F430

As well as increasing the speed of changes during hard driving, the new software improves smoothness in the fully automatic mode (actuated by a button on the central tunnel), making the F430 a true all-rounder. At the opposite extreme, the F430’s Launch Control (not available in North America) gives maximum performance away from a standing start with suitable road conditions (for example, on the track). The shift paddles are fixed to the steering column in tried and tested Ferrari tradition (right-hand paddle to change UP and the left to change DOWN) but reverse is now selected by a button on the central tunnel for greater ease of use and the selection time is down by 50 % compared to the 360 Modena.

Manettino And Vehicle Set-Up

Just like in Formula 1, the F430 driver can change the set-up of his car using the innovative selector set on the steering wheel. The manettino is a rotary switch that has been adopted directly from racing, where the driver’s total commitment to driving requires maximum efficiency and speed in controlling the car’s various functions. This switch quickly and simply controls the electronics governing suspension settings, the CST stability and traction control, E-Diff and the change speed of the F1 transmission, as well as the integration between each of these individual functions. The position of the manettino is an example of the rationalisation studies that went into the layout of all the controls inside the car.

The manettino enables car settings to be changed to suit the personal preferences of the driver, road surface conditions and available grip. The settings available to the driver have been concentrated in five different strategies. These, in ascending order according the level of performance (grip), are:

ICE: Performance is significantly restricted (maximum intervention by the stability and traction control) for maximum stability - indispensable for driving in very slippery conditions (snow or ice). The car reacts smoothly to driving inputs. The automatic gear-changing mode is selected which prevents gear changes at high revs and reduces the possibility of the rear wheels locking up on downchanges, even on ice.

LOW GRIP: This position ensures stability both on dry and wet surfaces. It is therefore recommended for surfaces with poor grip (rain), gritty roads or particularly broken or undulating tarmac. In this configuration, unlike ICE, the driver can still use the F1 paddle shift. The adaptive suspension setting is optimised to provide a very comfortable ride without impeding the handling balance, and the stability and traction control remains in the ICE configuration.

SPORT: This is the standard setting that strikes the best balance between stability and performance. Ideal for the open road, this position provides an optimum compromise for maximum performance and safety. Compared to the previous settings, SPORT adopts a more sporting configuration for the adaptive suspension to maximise performance, handling and stability at high speeds. The CST also goes up a level, giving the driver greater freedom, without excessively reigning in the engine.

RACE: This setting must be used only on the race track. Gear changing is even faster to minimise gear shifting times. CST intervention is reduced to a minimum (the engine management only cuts the engine when absolutely necessary). The damping also goes up one level.

continues... | Part Six
Published 27 October 2004 Melanie Carter

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