2024 Ford Mustang Digital Gauges Have an ’80s Fox Body Cluster Mode
Finally, manufacturers are having some more fun with digital instrument clusters.
Manufacturers do all kinds of cool stuff with digital instrument cluster design, but the new seventh-gen 2024 Ford Mustang has the most amusing use of the technology to date: a retro-style gauge cluster view meant as a throwback to the simple, clean Fox Body Mustangs of yore. More of this, please.
Specifically, Ford says this is meant to simulate the gauges of a 1987-1993 Mustang. Just like the original versions, these faux-Fox gauges feature white lettering during the day and glow green at night.
One hitch: the Fox Body-style gauge view doesn't go completely retro. Between the round, sometimes-green speedometer and tachometer sit modern-day graphical data readouts for things like your trip odometer and stereo information. That makes some sense given that Ford has so many of the car's controls in the infotainment system now, but it does break up the retro vibe.
Given how many people I know who wax poetic about the distraction-free joy of Saab's Night Panel gauge view that darkened everything except the speedometer at night, I feel like a truly minimalist retro view would have been welcome. Ford no doubt also knows the appeal of a cleaner gauge pod given that it included a separate "Calm" view on the 2024 Mustang that pares down the data on the digital instrument panel to just the basics.
Either way, this is long overdue. Manufacturers should have more fun with these infinitely customizable digital screens! While I've seen aftermarket digital gauges that look retro in use on various restomods, this is the first time I've seen a manufacturer offer it as an optional view baked into the car's default options. Ford has a hell of a blank slate to play with in the seventh-gen 'Stang. The new Mustang's digital instrument panel employs a 12.4-inch screen and uses graphics based on the same Unreal Engine 3D creation tool utilized in top-tier video games. To say I'm excited as to where this might lead in other future models is an understatement. We've seen plenty of impressive graphics on these screens before, but it's simple, fun ideas like a throwback dash view that stick in my brain more.
Ford's seventh-gen Mustang features plenty of other nods to the model's long history, too, including outlines of all seven generations of the Mustang as an Easter egg along the bottom of the rear window. Check out The Drive's homepage for more coverage of Ford's latest, greatest pony car.
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