The automatic transmission of the 456 GTA is managed entirely electronically by way of constant dialogue between the control unit of the gearbox itself and the Bosch Motronic M5.2 engine control unit. This provides the gearbox with all the instant parameters of car use conditions, measured
by throttle aperture angle, accelerator activation speed, vehicle speed and engine speed. The top limit is constantly monitored by the control unit which interprets the infinite driving conditions that can emerge from one driver to another, or from one moment to the next.
The system logic is able to choose between GT and sporty mode without a kick-down pushbutton.
In addition to the system's capacity for interpretation, it is also possible for the driver to intervene if particular conditions make it necessary. In fact, if third gear is selected instead of Drive, it prevents the gearbox from shifting to a longer ratio. Third gear has in fact a 1:1 ratio. This selection informs the control unit that the driver wants to put his foot down, and adjust gearbox behaviour consequently during gear engagement.