Technology

Have you ever appreciated the dashboard of a Ferrari F50?

Have you ever appreciated the dashboard of a Ferrari F50?

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Interior dashboard and steering wheel view of Ferrari F50

Image: Ferrari

They say that fonts are the clothes that the words wear, and that’s somewhat true cars and their instrument clusters, too. Think about it – you’re looking at these readings every few seconds behind the wheel, so it’s pretty hard not to be affected by them, even at the slightest level.

The thing is, that experience is pretty limited to the person sitting in the driver’s seat. Dashboard design, like the texture of the dashboard surface or the way the dial clicks into the next position, is something only owners really know. And Ferrari F50 owners know that its dimensions are among the most beautiful in the automotive world.

The F50 is polarizingand it’s no wonder why. It had the impossible task of following the F40, a car so loved by all that it actually enjoyed a second life as synthwave icon. It adopted the Maranello design language of the 1990s, which was consistently produced artwork and atrocities on wheels. Thus, the F50 became a car that I both hated and loved in terms of styling at different points in my life. Sometimes it looks like a blue plum with a huge donkey’s wing; other times it is relatively elegant and refined. It’s one of those cars that just confuses you more the longer you look at it.

Ferrari F50 front view

Image: Ferrari

Likewise, there’s something baroque and ornate about the F50’s instrument panel; a pair of overlapping rings decorated with a fantasy font that you just know appeared on the menu of a steamy restaurant or in Final Fantasy game. It’s a bit over the top, a bit over the top, but you know Ferrari couldn’t get enough of it because there’s too much used under that little hood – for temperature, oil pressure, fuel level, whatever.

A Ferrari F50 dashboard was recently auctioned in Miami in December.

When everything lights up, everything looks like a Christmas tree. It’s distractingly mesmerizing. Enigmatic; demanding attention. Maybe that’s why when it came time to make the Enzo, Ferrari chose the same banal font London used for its tube. Pomp and circumstance disappeared in favor of simplicity. I get it from a practical point of view, but the Enzo’s dashboard also makes me feel dead to look at.

Ferrari Enzo steering wheel and dashboard.

Ferrari Enzo steering wheel and dashboard.
Image: Ferrari

I thought of playing the gauges on the F50 Gran Turismo 7, where you can see a digital recreation of this entire performance, modeled and animated in real time, from your virtual driver’s seat. You can even observe strange behavior of chronometric tachometer on old racing cars, such as the Aston Martin DB3S and Porsche 917K, or the unpleasant ones rev limiter sound signal of the FD Mazda RX-7. The kind of quirks that only a select few owners know, immortalized with technology.


#appreciated #dashboard #Ferrari #F50

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