Ferrari Monza Interior Layout & Technology | Top Gear
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Sunday 27th November
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Interior

What is it like on the inside?

To make a semi-graceful entry, best bet is to sit on the sill, post both feet into the depths of the footwell and then slide down into the embrace of the bucket seat. Reach up to thud the door back into position, cocooning you in a cockpit that’s all at once reassuringly familiar and bizarrely alien.

Ahead, the wheel and dashboard are regular Ferrari fodder, but the canted panel of buttons under the thick carbon tendon looks pretty Nineties. Happily, you’ll soon discover having a simple fascia of tactile buttons to prod is welcome when attempting to tame a Monza. The nose-lift works rapidly. Pity the heater is a weakling – just like an 812 GTS. And this example didn’t even have heated seats. Surely for cars not bound for the West Coast or Middle East, that’s a must…

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The panoramic view from the driver’s seat is one of the great outlooks in motoring: unencumbered by a headlining or pillars, with the bonnet scything into the distance and the front tyres located by those helpful humps in the front wings. The front parking sensors look ugly, but are vital to avoid a viral parking incident.

The system you’ll be most interested in is the Virtual Wind Shield, which appears to offer an elegantly simple solution to a serious problem. With no windscreen, you’d expect to have your face peeled clean off by the self-generated hurricane you’re headbutting, but Ferrari reckons to have sorted it. A duct ahead of the driver purports to suck in airflow, channel it 90 degrees and eject it vertically over the cockpit, leaving the driver undisturbed.

Now, Ferrari knows its way around a wind tunnel, so it’s a surprise to discover, as you roll past 45mph and take a walloping from the breeze, that the Virtual Wind Shield exists virtually only in the mind of the person who wrote the name down.

It’s not half as effective as the much more trick active air-management gubbins found in the McLaren Elva. You can solve this by wearing a helmet of course, but that rather spoils the point of getting rid of the letter-box effect of a windscreen in the first place. Not to mention, no-one will recognise you as you wail past.

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