The all-new Ford GT features a digital instrument display in the car’s dashboard to present information quickly and easily to the driver, like the glass cockpit in airplanes and race cars.
The innovative 10-inch-wide digital instrument display is far advanced from the original Ford GT, when the cockpit was hardwired with a fixed set of analog gauges, buttons and knobs across the dashboard to address every situation.
The Ford GT program presented a unique opportunity to reimagine the instrument cluster, expanding what a connected car can be and previewing the future of Ford vehicles. Its layout is designed around which data is most important, when to present it, and how to show information in a way that’s most expedient for a driver to process.
The design is executed on a high-resolution display that matches the sleek, purpose-driven cabin. Data is conveyed in crisp, high-contrast graphics.
As advanced design work transitioned to putting prototypes on the road, Ford Performance reached out to suppliers at the cutting edge of data display.
Ford designers and engineers worked closely with Pektron (for electronic design, development, implementation and manufacture) and Conjure (for graphical design) to create animated renderings.
The five drive modes (Normal, Wet, Sport, Track and V-Max) are easily accessed through steering wheel-mounted controls, to help keep eyes and attention on the road and hands on the wheel. Each mode presents information differently, prioritizing what is crucial for each environment and tailoring the display to the given context.
In Normal mode, the display 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. In Sport mode, the inforation adjusts according to 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.