Digital displays are absolutely the in thing at the moment. What you may not realise is that sports and performance cars first started using them for two reasons. The first is that when calibrated they can be much more accurate at providing information in relation to speed. The second is that some cars accelerate so quickly that a normal speedo wouldn’t keep up or offer anything in the way of a meaningful display.
Ford’s all new 2017 GT has a 10 inch digital display to provide a wealth of information to the driver. The display is very high resolution and matches the sleek, purpose-driven cabin.
“Driver focus and attention are key with such high performance,” said Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer, Ford Performance. “We’ve designed the GT with a sleek digital instrument display that changes depending on driving mode in ways that are important and usable to the driver.”
The digital display reconfigures itself depending on which drive mode is currently active.
- Normal mode displays information in a purposeful manner. The theme is simple; the speedometer is centered and bold, gear selection is to the right, fuel and temperature are top left. The hockey-stick-shaped tachometer displays in a compressed scale for lower rpm, as the engine revs so quickly the lower counts mean almost nothing to the driver. The 3,000-to-7,000-rpm range dominates the top of the display
- Wet mode carries many of the same information concepts over from normal mode, using a blue theme and a “wet floor” concept. Graphics under the speedometer emulate the shine of wet asphalt to remind the driver of the mode selection
- Sport mode adjusts information priorities. Front and centre is gear selection, with the speedometer off to the right and less prominent. It’s displayed in an orange theme and is the preferred mode for most test drivers
- Track mode presents a stark combination of black background and highly legible text and graphics, in a crisp, red theme that’s easy for the eye to pick up in a fast-paced environment. Gear selection and engine speed are displayed prominently, while coolant temperature, oil pressure, oil temperature and fuel level – rendered as a percentage rather than miles to empty – are bottom right
- V-Max offers an entirely different display – purposeful and pared down. Specifically tailored to pursuing maximum top speed, it displays a large, centered speedometer, with tachometer reduced to just a line with indicator dot for minimal distraction. Coolant temperature, oil pressure, oil temperature and turbocharger boost are displayed to the right, with fuel level displayed top left
“We spent an enormous amount of time getting this just right,” says Nick Terzes, Ford GT engineering supervisor. “The result is simple, but achieving simple perfectly can be a challenge.”