“The Jay Leno Show” had a special guest Friday, September 18: An all-new battery-electric Ford Focus. The electric car appeared in a segment called “Green Car Challenge.” Tuned to perform on a racetrack that was specifically designed for “The Jay Leno Show,” the battery-electric Ford Focus was chosen to be the car used throughout the first season. Celebrities who accept the challenge will be at the wheel, driving quickly to establish a fast lap time that future guests will try to beat. Actress Drew Barrymore is the first celebrity to accept Leno’s “Green Car Challenge.”
The electric Focus to be driven by celebrity guests is a one-of-a-kind vehicle, based on the European five-door production Focus ST, modified into a battery electric vehicle (BEV) as part of Ford’s BEV test fleet. This specific car started life as a European production Focus ST, built in Germany in July. The car was delivered to Ford in Dearborn, Mich., where engineers went to work, removing the traditional engine and gas tank and installing an entire electric powertrain – all in six weeks. With Recaro racing seats, a roll cage, a five-point racing harness and wearing a unique (and fitting) Electric Orange paint scheme, the battery electric Focus ST is ready for racing.
Thanks in part to the battery placement, the race-ready Ford Focus BEV has a nearly ideal 50/50 weight distribution for improved race track handling. The front springs and dampers come from the performance-minded Ford Focus RS, a popular, high-performance European production model. The rear dampers and springs are unique to Leno’s Focus BEV.
The car is specifically tuned to perform on the track built alongside “The Jay Leno Show” studio at NBC. To help improve performance, Ford created a similar track at their proving ground in Michigan to test the vehicle so it would be ready to handle the tight turns.
For more information on “The Jay Leno Show,” please visit www.thejaylenoshow.com.