The 2018 124 Spiders were supposed to come with the upgraded Multi-Information TFT Display. In the Classica model, you would have had to order the Technical package to get the new gauge though. I have a theory as to why that didn’t materialize.
The MX-5 RF debuted a new cluster gauge (the left-most gauge) which is actually a TFT (color) screen presented in a similar style to the mechanical gauges, but which can be customized to show a variety of different information, unlike our LCD info screen which is very limited in it’s capabilities and couldn’t be programmed to display feedback regarding the state of the retractable hardtop. It appears that a compass has also been added to the primary screen to make up for the deficiency in the Navigation screens (and no Heads-Up Display).
It is officially called the 4.6″ Multi-Information color TFT display and I was wishfully thinking that Fiat would incorporate a turbo boost gauge in place of the unused monotone water temperature gauge (the color version functions nicely), and if not, perhaps a tweak of some sort might accomplish this goal.
Apparently the first generation of new clusters debuting in the RF had a significant battery drain issue (after about a week of not being driven, the battery will be incapable of starting the engine) because it will not go into “sleep-mode”, and instead will draw around 80 mA, if both of these conditions exist:
- the ignition has been turned OFF
- the cruise-control has been left “ON”
This was only recently discovered as the root cause and although replacement of the defective cluster gauge assemblies is the fix to the problem, they may simply modify the software to insure that cruise-control is always in the OFF mode during shutdown to cover-up the issue.
Perhaps the last minute discovery of the issue without knowing the root cause explains why Mazda recommended delaying the implementation of the new the new cluster gauge into MY 2018 124 Spiders and soft-top versions of the MX-5s.
I expect we’ll see TFT screens in the GT version of MY 2019 MX-5s (so that it can display traffic sign recognition graphics, among others) and some MY 2020 124 Spiders (if not sooner).