Programming The RPM Shift Indicator - 2013 Subaru BRZ Long-Term Road Test

2013 Subaru BRZ Long Term Road Test

2013 Subaru BRZ: Programming The RPM Shift Indicator

March 11, 2013

2013 Subaru BRZ: Programming

One of the neat little features I like about our 2013 Subaru BRZ (and Scion FR-S) is the programmable rpm-based shift indicator light. It's a little red light in the gauge cluster that flashes (there's a corresponding beep, too) that notifies you that the engine has achieved a certain rpm. The main use of the light is to make it easier to know when the engine is approaching redline as you're accelerating hard so that you know when to upshift. You can use your peripheral vision to spot the light (or just listen for the beep) instead of having to focus your eyes on the tachometer itself.

The activation rpm of the light is adjustable. It's a little finicky to do, and you'll have to read the owner's manual first, but basically it involves pressing the car's "DISP" button a bunch of times. In the photo above, I set the light to activate at 6,900 rpm. It's adjustable from 2,000 rpm to 7,400 rpm. In the photo, you can also see a "b," which indicates the light's beeping noise is active as well (the owner's manual calls it a "buzzer," but the sound is more like a quick series of three beeps). You can turn off the beeping noise, as well as the shift light.

The beeps aren't that loud (if the radio's on, you'll probably miss them), and the light isn't nearly as prominent as you'd get from a dedicated, racer-style aftermarket shift light. But for what it is, I think it's pretty cool that Subaru and Toyota designed it into the car.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 11,789 miles


  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    If you can't hear it over the radio, wouldn't it be hard to hear the beep at redline with a helmet on too?

  • jpnpower jpnpower Posts:

    You could be that guy who can listen to his car at a certain RPM and guess it. I had a friend in college who could do that. With his car, he was accurate within 200 rpms, and could guess it within a second.

  • danmonda danmonda Posts:

    Manual transmission cars also have a pointless feature that displays what gear you are in on the little LCD screen, and gear number flashes when it wants you to shift!

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