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Ford details cockpit display for GT

Ford GTech: The GT, Ford’s technological and performance flagship, will come with a new digital instrument display that is configurable in five different modes.

New 10-inch digital instrument display on Ford GT to trickle down to other models

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Ford logo16 Jan 2017

FORD has detailed its GT supercar’s new 10-inch digital display, which is expected to eventually find its way into other Ford models, following in the footsteps of other brands such as Audi in digitalising their instrument clusters.

The car-maker worked with tech companies and Le Mans winner Scott Maxwell to fine-tune the technology and optimise the layout of the instrument cluster, which it says is designed around the most important data to display, when to present it, and how to show information in a way that’s best for the driver.

Each of the five different drive mode prioritises different information depending on the setting – be it normal, wet, sport, track or V-Max mode – which can be accessed through steering wheel-mounted controls.

Ford Australia product communications manager Damion Smy said that it was likely the technology would trickle down into other Ford models, with performance-oriented models the most likely to receive the tech first.

“The GT is the flagship in terms of technology, and you’d expect (the digital instrument display) to come through the high-end performance models,” he said.

“It’s probably more of a performance thing to begin with, but you’d expect that kind of thing to trickle down.

“Every part of (the GT) is a showcase – the EcoBoost engines, the carbon-fibre wheels – and that’s what that car is for. The digital dash is part of that story.”

Given the GT is not sold in Australia, the most likely candidates to receive the new technology first would be an updated Mustang, or the next-gen Focus RS.

Normal mode conveys information in a simple manner, with the speedometer, gear selection and tachometer clearly visible, with fuel and engine temperature gauges nestled in the top-left-hand corner of the display.

Switching to wet mode, the GT uses a blue theme with graphics that give the impression of wet asphalt, in case the driver forgets about their surroundings.

Sport mode adjusts the display to prioritise gear selection as the primary visual, with the speedometer moving off to the side as an orange design theme envelops the instrumentation. This was the preferred mode for most of the GT’s test drivers.

Moving to track mode places the gear selection and tachometer front and centre, with coolant temperature, oil pressure and temperature, and fuel level in the corner.

The final setting, V-Max, is tailored for top speed over anything else and shows a large, central speedometer with the rest of the information scaled down for minimal distraction.

While Australia will not get the high-performing GT flagship to help boost sales or brand awareness, last year, Ford’s local division enjoyed a strong sales year, recording 81,207 sales – a 15.3 per cent jump over its 2015 figures and enough to place it fifth on the overall sales ladder.

However, despite a rebound in sales, it was a sombre year for the Blue Oval in Australia after shutting down operations at its Broadmeadows manufacturing facility.

Mr Smy acknowledged that while the strong sales output was promising, Ford still has a lot of work to over coming years, particularly with their influx of new models by 2020.

“We’re pleased that we’ve had an improvement in sales but we’re still looking to launch more and more models as a part of that model onslaught up to 2020,” he said.

“We’ve invested more heavily in Australia with the opening of the Asia-Pacific Product Development Centre in December, and we’re looking forward to the future.

“Sales are a reflection that we’re doing some things right with our customers, but we know we can improve in a lot of areas so we’re not spraying champagne but we’re pleased we’re starting to get some traction with consumers in Australia.”

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