July 28, 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.