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GT350 HUD Shift Lift (w/video)


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Ford Shelby GT350 Gets Racing-Inspired Customizable Shift Light Indicator to Help Drivers Optimize Track Time

• Shelby GT350® Mustang features Performance Shift Light Indicator display with Track, Tach and Drag mode

• Performance Shift Light Indicator provides the benefits of a shift light while allowing drivers to keep their eyes on the track at all times

• Heads-up shift light was developed by reimagining existing hardware and is standard on all-new Shelby GT350 and Shelby® GT350R

DEARBORN, Mich., July 23, 2015 – When driving the high-revving, 526-horsepower Shelby GT350® Mustang, drivers would do best to keep eyes on the road.

So that's where Ford put the Performance Shift Light Indicator.

For decades, race drivers have used shift lights that signal the perfect engine speed for the shift point for maximum acceleration and lower lap times during the intensity of on-track driving.

Shift lights allow drivers to concentrate on the road in front of them rather than watching a tachometer. However, most shift lights either obscure the forward field of view or are located low in the instrument cluster where the driver must look down to see it.

The Performance Shift Light Indicator is a heads-up display located in front of the driver. It can be controlled through the driver information center in the gauge cluster, and customers can set shift points, light intensity, select from three different modes, or turn the feature off entirely.

In Tach mode, the amber LEDs light up sequentially from left to right as engine revs build to provide an easily viewable tachometer. Track mode is quite different – when engine revs build, LEDs light up from the outside ends to the center until the shift point is reached, then the whole LED bar flashes.

The third option is Drag mode. Much like Track mode, the customer sets the shift point, but in this configuration the entire LED light bar stays dark, then flashes repeatedly when the engine reaches the preset rpm threshold. "Given the conditions of a drag race, we found drivers wanted maximum simplicity in a performance shift light," said Mike Makled, electrical engineer for Shelby programs.

Innovation through lateral thinking
Makled is a self-described at-home tinkerer. The 10-year veteran and third-generation Ford employee has been with Ford Performance since 2010. "I like taking things apart, modifying how they work and creating new things," he says. "It's a hobby."

Dreaming up innovative performance features is one of the fun parts of his job, and inspiration struck one day on the road. Makled was driving his Ford Taurus SHO when he came to a quick stop in traffic and the car's collision warning with brake support system flashed its red LED heads-up display. The system bounces upward projected light against the reflective inner surface of the windshield so the driver can see it as a warning of impending danger. This got him thinking.

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Track mode makes the most sense the way the two lines converge to show the shift point, but from left to right in normal mode, you can't actually discern redline at a glance. Is there a reason Ford doesn't just use an actual HUD like so many other cars? That way you could see an actual tach, instead of nondescript dots.

Edited by cp-the-nerd
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I would have to try it out, but from what I imagine visually, it seems like a tach positioned just a few inches above another tach is only marginally better, possibly requiring a bit more visual acuity than just the growth rate or convergence of LED bars.

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Sure they have. And I have driven many vehicles with HUD of several makes.  The speed indicator is something I rarely use however.  Again, I think Ford went with something that is easier to identify without really looking directly at it, and perhaps it is more applicable to a car like this.  I just don't think they are trying to buck some 'standard' just to be different, and instead optimized it's application here, rather than just add a hip feature.

Edited by Wings4Life
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I just wish that when GM first came out with HUD, that they pushed it into all car lines as it is one of the best Safety features for everyone. Keep the core info right where you can easily see it rather than take your eyes totally off the road to read the dash.

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