The New 2024 Mustang Is Unreal Fast
The new seventh generation of Ford Mustang is video game fast and video game cool, and we’re just talking about the screens. The 2024 Mustang is due at dealers this fall, but one component will be instantly familiar to fans of video games: the screens are powered by the Unreal Engine 3D creation tool. That doesn’t mean that you can play “Deadspace” or “Quake” while driving, but the system powering the screens certainly could.
The new wraparound screen is powered by the Unreal Engine
The 2024 Mustang will have, for the first time, a wraparound screen that looks like something out of “AirWolf” instead of a muscle car. The wraparound screen is really a pair of screens, one that shows the gauge clusters (more on those later) as well as the car’s modes, navigation, and a whole lot more.
But, as many of us know, a slow screen while we’re driving can be maddening. There’s not much worse than hitting a button, and expecting your car to respond, and then it doesn’t. The only thing worse is when you hit a button twice and end up on a new screen that you didn’t want to be on. That’s one of the main reasons Ford upgraded to video game tech in the new S650 seventh-generation Ford Mustang. It’s fast, especially for rendering the graphics that you need in a car.
What is the Unreal Engine 3D?
In the late 1990s, computer graphics took a turn towards the more realistic, especially in games. Many of us of a certain vintage remember the buzz around Unreal from Epic Games for its (for the time) stunning graphics that made you feel like you were part of a 3D world. The software that Epic designed for the game, its engine, became known as Unreal. Since them, it’s become a standard for many games like Fortnite and others.
Basically, without the engine, we’d still be flying virtual spaceships through mountains made of digital triangles instead of luscious clouds and nebulas. Today, it’s free to use, but developers share their revenue with Epic Games. It’s not clear how Ford worked its licensing deal. GMC’s Hummer EV SUV also uses Unreal. Sure, the 13.2-inch screen isn’t as massive as the 75-inches of screen you get in a Grand Wagonner, but it’s still massive.
So, what does this magic screen do?
The 13.2-inch screen to the right wraps around the driver and controls pretty much everything in the new 2024 Mustang. With a row of buttons on the bottom, you can adjust the heated seats and steering wheel, for example. It also controls the temp and fan speed, as well as the radio. Unfortunately, there’s no external radio volume knob. You can also control the volume of the exhaust from the screen.
The real fun stuff happens then you click through the drive modes. There are six: normal, sport, slippery, drag, track and a custom option. Each comes with its own fast set of graphics. The track mode adds an acceleration timer, brake performance meter and a lap timer. You can also toggle through a series of additional gauges, including: temperature, oil pressure, g-meter, volts, oil temp, and more. Most, though, are talking about the option to change you gauge cluster to match your driving style. The hottest version seems to be the Fox Body, or 1980s Mustang, gauges which were two simple gauges that showed your engine speed and a speedometer. When you turn the headlights the gauges turn green. But, unlike in the original Fox Body because this is digital so you won’t have any dim spots from where an LED behind the dash went out.