Ford offering video game-like test drive of Focus

By Michael Wayland

In the eyes of Ford Motor Co., the 2012 Focus is no ordinary vehicle, so test driving the compact car should be no ordinary experience.

The Dearborn automaker has reportedly created a special test track “with elements of laser tag and the “Guitar Hero” video game” to give customers a one-of-a-kind experience.

Aug. 6, the Detroit News: “Under the ‘Start More Than a Car. Get More Than a Test Drive’ program, consumers can drive a Focus on a makeshift test course, where they’re rewarded with points for their driving skills and accuracy. Those skills are measured by lasers interacting between the car and ground targets. The driver gets instant feedback: the sound of a guitar chord or crowd cheering when points are scored.”

According to the newspaper, Ford wants to get 100,000 consumers to test drive the new vehicle and post a video of their experience on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

The test drive is another step some automakers are taking to try and standout from competitors.

Last month, Fiat SpA — the Italian automaker now controlling Chrysler Group LLC – announced it is touring the U.S. with a drive-in theater equipped with Fiat 500s to give customers a taste of the vehicle.

And earlier this week, Ford CEO Alan Mulally appeared as a guest on the “Late Show with David Letterman” to test drive the Focus with the comedian.

According to, Ford’s unique test drive launches on Aug. 22 in Chicago with stops in big cities across the country, including Los Angeles. It will hit more than 20 cities before wrapping up on Dec. 17.

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