Driving at 200 mph is tricky. There’s so much happening, so quickly, that the driver needs a superhuman ability to focus on what matters and throw away everything else. To help with that task, Ford developed a digital “glass-cockpit” instrument cluster for the Ford GT supercar that changes based on drive mode to show only the most relevant data for the task at hand. In other words, it turned the instrument cluster into a digital screen.
Ford also plans to bring the GT’s digital instrument cluster to its other cars. The company says in a press release that it will come “to other future Ford vehicles” as well, though Ford is certainly not the first company to launch an all-digital instrument cluster.
The GT’s digital cluster is 10 inches wide and displays information in different ways across Normal, Wet, Sport, Track, and V-Max modes. The screens are adjusted through a steering wheel-mounted control knob that changes drive modes in the car, also adjusting things like ride height, whether the rear spoiler is up or down, transmission shift points, and stability and traction control settings.
Information on the gauge cluster is presented differently depending on the mode. In Normal, meant for everyday driving, has the car’s speed front and center, while the current gear is gigantic in Track mode, with speed pushed off to the corner. The Ford GT’s engine revs up so quickly that Ford’s engineers compressed the bottom of the rev range in all modes, instead focusing on the 3,000–7,000 rpm range at the top of the display.
In Track mode, gear selection and engine speed are given priority, with coolant temperature, oil pressure, oil temperature placed off to the bottom right. Fuel level is displayed as a percentage rather than as miles-to-empty, as that latter number would be fairly meaningless on a race track.
V-Max — maximum velocity — is the mode for those heading for top speed. That’s at least 200 mph in the Ford GT (the company won’t get more specific, yet), and it features a large speedometer in the center, with the tachometer reduced to a mere yellow line.
The display isn’t exactly customizable, but the ability for drivers to have information presented differently depending on their drive environment is definitely useful — especially for a supercar.
But with Ford planning to bring the tech to other vehicles as well, it’s easy to see the potential. A special towing mode for pickup truck drivers or a prominent map on the instrument cluster for nearly anyone would be very useful. But I don’t care about any of that right now. I just want to drive the Ford GT at 200-plus.