Vellum Venom Vignette: More Cluster Commotions?
Question #1. TTAC commentator Seminole95 writes:
Sajeev, I have another question for you.
Why do auto manufacturers increasingly make cars with hard to read speedometers? I was thinking of buying a Mustang, but I could not tell easily how fast I was going. The new Accord speedometer is harder to read than previous models.
My commute speed limit is 45 mph. I set the cruise at 54, because I have been told that police don’t start ticketing until you get 10 mph over the limit. I can’t see the 54 mph tick easily when the speedometer is hard to read.
Why? For the same reason they give us no rearward visibility! They don’t care about style with substance. And cameras/TV screens are cheap to install, and a nice option package for you to buy. If you can’t see behind you or look at your gauges, don’t worry: THERE IS A TV SCREEN YOU CAN USE INSTEAD. Woot!
Agreed on the 2005-up Mustang gauge cluster’s horrible ergonomics. But then again, we love our retro Mustang-Clydesdale design ( not me)…don’t we? The worst was definitely the first Bullitt Mustang (branded) of the SN-95 variety. It was the one that set the bad precedent. The one that told common sense to go pound sand.
OH NOES WTF IS GOING ON?!? Or conversely: I’m Steve McQueen biatch, I don’t care how fast I’m going!!!
Question #2. Anonymous writes:
In the vein of ATS cluster article, what gives with the speedo on my new-ish Golf?
Up to 80mph, it’s one metric and above 80 it’s another. Before I noticed the disparity, I thought I was cruising along at 85mph because I had the needle pegged on the unmarked tick above 80. Little did I realize I was going 90, because I normally have the display set to fuel economy, not the digital speedo. What was VW thinking?
Dude are you really trying to hold your phone, snap a photo while exceeding (probably) the speed limit? I’ve seen worse, but still…COME ON SON! I gotta slap wrists, and make this one Anonymous.
I don’t have a big problem with this setup, as there is enough space between the letters and a seasoned owner learns the denomination change over. I’m not saying that VW gave you the best cluster but it’s okay. Even without the redundant digi-gauge in the center!
Okay, I’m lying, I do have a problem with the cluster: 160mph? Really? In a Golf? This is a good speedo for a high-performance model, exclusively. Case in point:
This is the cluster from my 1988 Mercury Cougar XR-7. Sort of, because it’s a Fox body bastard like everything else in my ride. I added two different Thunderbird Turbo Coupe tachometers (1985 for the face, 1987 for the guts) and the stupid-rare Ford Motorsport 140 MPH speedometer.
Two design beefs: Yes, I have a factory looking 24PSI boost gauge, but I don’t have a turbo on my 5.0L V8…yet. Yes, this speedo is better than the factory unit (85MPH) but the selection of big numbers to highlight isn’t logical (115MPH?). But they chose the highlights that make it flow nicely.
Is this Cougar a bad design too? Not really. The speedometer is odd, but awesome. Considering Ford Motorsport actually made a proper speedo for a unique vehicle (Thunderbird/Cougar only) this is impressive. It makes me wonder if the Thunderbird Turbo Coupe was actually used by certain government agencies with alphabet names and covert operations.
You know, covert operations demand a 140MPH speedometer in your jet black Turbo Coupe. Maybe someone at Ford knows the truth, as we all love the myth(?) of the Buick Grand National Turbos supposedly bought by the CIA. And how that somehow inspired the insane Buick GNX. Fiction is fun!
But your Golf? Not really. Just give it a boring speedometer, and let some idiot like me upgrade it with the Golf R unit several decades from now.
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