One of the advantages of running a successful online publication like Auto Trends Magazine is I get to see and drive numerous vehicles before or just coming to market. A recent call by the Ford Motor Company arranged for my album of the 2012 version of the battery electric Ford Focus, a compact car goes on sale in summer 2011.
This vehicle will be important for two main reasons: to replace the current model of American with European specification derivative, which offers a better look, the more fuel efficient package and updated. It will also allow customers to buy an electric car, if you do, but the production version gas 40 mpg on the highway may be sufficient for most drivers.
What was special about the Focus BEV 2012? Well, it was the same car produced for Jay Leno Show as part of the supply of television personality to show green cars. This specially developed prototype is based on the SVT Focus, a car sold in Europe and considered by some to be the sportiest compact car, the fastest on the market.
But that was just outside the vehicle - under the Focus BEV presented an honest to goodness lithium ion battery, just like the versions that are in production of this car. This particular prototype work as well as a production car, none of the usual shrieks, rattles and compartments apparently unfinished.
The opening of the door and slip into the driver's seat was very exciting. Recaro seats are standard, although Ford has not said if the production models that offer this option or the beautiful exterior paint scheme. Remember, this was a "show" cars tend to appear on Leno's show and nothing else. However, the seats were fabulous, setting the tone for my album.
The Ford Focus BEV has a start button which means that all you have to do is push a button and the car comes to life. No roar of the engine to tell you that the car is running, but the dashboard lights, telling him to go ahead and change-up.
Silently, he pulled me out of the parking space at North Carolina State University and proceeded to wind my way through the park and local roads. This was a limited hard - which includes two large blocks, with total travel less than a mile long. However, it was enough for me to gain an appreciation of quiet driving. Quietly seemed strange at first - even the tires are among the quietest I've ridden on.
Returning to the large number made me think - electric vehicles provide plenty of torque. Naturally, I went into the gas pedal and the car suddenly zoomed ahead without hesitation. Yes, this car has a power and plenty of it - I did not miss the internal combustion engine a little.
A preview of a car is just that - a brief introduction to a particular model. Certainly, a longer trip of several hours, preferably the best day and the time will come next year. Meanwhile, the Focus BEV is a promising vehicle, one of the many electric cars all the news that hit the market in 2011.