profile page of programmer Chris Mcclure, he was at NFS: Shift developer Sightly Mad Studios from August 2009 – February 2010 where he "worked on new open world technology but also worked on Need For Speed Shift too." Cleverly, Mcclure altered this statement today from "... but also worked on Need For Speed Shift 2" after his apparent reveal was spotted by superannuation (and preserved by Google's cache).
The original Shift was released in September 2009, and if Mcclure is covering his tracks, then a sequel was likely underway as work on the first game wrapped, which would allow roughly the minimum development time necessary to release Shift 2 some time during the first quarter of 2011. Recall that in February, during an earnings call, EA dated a Need for Speed game for that period. COO John Schappert described the unnamed iteration as "another big driving simulation" (Conference Call Script [PDF]). "Need For Speed: Shift 2" would be a good fit for that description and time frame.