Berlinetta was introduced in May, 1994 as the first in a successful series of F355 models. Initially, the 6-speed manual was the only transmission available. However, in 1997, the Berlinetta was the first ever road car to be equipped with the innovative F1-style gearbox management system. Derived directly from Formula 1, where it made its debut in 1989 winning the Brazilian Grand Prix, the electro-hydraulic system was operated by paddles behind the steering wheel using the F355’s conventional 6-speed manual gearbox. The new transmission guaranteed lightning-quick gear changes, with the additional advantage that both the driver’s hands could stay on the wheel at all times.
Ferrari produced 4,871 road-going Berlinetta models during the entire production run, of which 3,829 were 6-speed and 1,042 were F1 transmissions.