Ford has announced another awesome feature on the brand new Shelby GT350- a HUD based shift light!The 2015 Shelby GT350 is loaded with the latest and greatest racing technology; there is so much of it from the 5.2L Flat-plane crank engine to the carbon fiber wheels on the R model, that the finer details can get lost in the mix.
The newest detail to emerge on the upcoming GT350/GT350 R is a heads-up display Performance Shift Light Indicator. This isn’t your typical Mustang Lighting as it is a tachometer based shift light that is totally programmable.
A shift light indicator is a highly valuable tool in every driving setting. With the integrated heads-up display, the driver never has to remove their eyes from the road to see where they are at in the RPM range or when they have to shift.
GT350 owners can set the shift lights and timing to their exact liking. The shift light intensity, mode, and shift point can be set by the driver through the driver information center in the middle of the gauge cluster.
Shift Light Modes
The Performance shift light has three modes- track, tach, and drag mode.
Track Mode is slightly different than track mode. As the RPM’s increase, the LEDs light up from the outside ends and go inward until the shift point is reached, at which point the LED bar flashes signaling the next shift.
Drag Mode is somewhat similar to track mode given that the LED bar flashes once you hit your predetermined shift point, but until then the LED bar remains in darkness. “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 for the GT350
While shift lights have been around for sometime, the way Ford has integrated them into the GT350 is new and incredibly innovative. The shift light was developed by Mike Makled of Ford Performance. While driving home in his Taurus SHO, Makled had to make a sudden stop in traffic, causing the car’s collision warning and brake support system to flash its red LED heads-up display.
“I thought, ‘Wait a minute, why don’t we use that technology for our shift light on the GT350?’” said Makled. “With a few tweaks, it could have a big effect on high-performance driving.” Makled immediately began developing the system and presented it to Ford management who called it a “brilliant reimagining of existing technology.”
The feature has been lauded by Ford testing personnel. “All of our drivers love this feature,” boasts Makled. “They can’t believe how much it reduces the distraction of having to look away to a tach or a shift light in the cluster.”
What do you think of the Ford GT350’s shift light indicator? Would you like to see this make its way into more cars/Mustangs or is this just overrated tech?