Jay Leno revealed that thecar he would use on his “Green Car Challenge” is an electric Focus, and with the premiere of that segment tonight, Ford took the wraps off Jay’s electric car.
The Focus used is based on the four-door hatchback European Focus ST, which itself is a track-day toy. As the segment is called “Green Car Challenge,” the car needed to be green, so the Focus uses an electric motor producing 141 hp (105 kW) and 236 lb-ft of torque instead of the normal 305-hp five-cylinder engine.
In addition to swapping out powertrains, Ford put in Recaro racing seats complete with five-point harnesses to hold the celebrities in place and installed a full roll cage to keep them safe should they manage to roll the vehicle. Ford also swapped out the rear springs to deal with the extra heft of the batteries. Incredibly, the engineers only needed six weeks to build Leno’s electric Focus.
While the Focus is seeing use on Jay Leno’s show as a track car, it is actually part of Ford’s battery-electric vehicle test fleet. It utilizes many of the components that Ford will use in the upcoming Focus electric vehicle that will be available to consumers beginning in 2011.
Jay’s electric Focus makes its debut tonight on Jay Leno’s new show, “The Jay Leno Show,” with Drew Barrymore behind the wheel on a track designed specifically for Jay’s show. Judging by “Top Gear’s Star in a Reasonably Priced Car,” we hope the track has lots of open spaces.