2012 Ford Focus Gives Letterman a Late Show Test-Drive

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2012 Ford Focus Electric on Late Show with David Letterman

2012 Ford Focus Electric on Late Show with David Letterman

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You’re the CEO of a global automaker who has just been invited to appear as a guest on the internationally renowned Late Show With David Letterman to talk about your new electric car. 

But rather than just talk about it, why not bring the car along too? 

And then let the show’s host drive it across his set. 

That’s the way Ford CEO Alan Mulally showed Late Show host David Letterman Ford’s new 2012 Ford Focus Electric hatchback. 

Unveiled earlier this year at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, we’re still waiting for a final sticker price, but Mulally hinted that the 80-mile five-seater would be ‘highly competitive’ in its pricing. 

Of course, this isn’t the first time the Late Show has covered electric cars. Back in 2006, Letterman talked to actor and electric car advocate Tom Hanks about his all-electric RAV4 EV, and in 2009 Letterman joked around with Tesla CEO Elon Musk when he was given a chance to get up-close and personal with an early prototype of the 2012 Model S. 

Yesterday’s interview with Mulally was more refrained however, without any jokes about being electrocuted or worries that his ‘gentleman parts’ would be magnetized. 

“I brought two electric cars. Neither one are manufactured int he United States of America,” Letterman told a relaxed Mulally. “Neither one are American brands. What’s the problem?”

Little more than an advertising opportunity, Letterman’s loaded (if inaccurate) question gave Mulally permission to extoll Ford’s new eco credentials. 

“It also has a family of a hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric, so you can get what you want that works for your lifestyle,” Mulally  enthused as he let Letterman drive drive across the stage to the sound of Eddy Grant’s 1982 hit Electric Avenue.

The Late Show isn’t the first time we’ve seen an electric Ford Focus on screen either. In 2009 its rival The Jay Leno Show included a segment called Jay Leno’s Green Car Challenge, in which celebrities drove a custom-made Ford Focus around a small track to see who could be the greenest driver.

Unlike the recent BBC Top Gear episode featuring the 2011 Nissan Leaf and 2011 Peugeot iOn/Mitsubishi i, we’re convinced the Late Show’s latest coverage of electric cars can’t be anything but positive. 

What do you think? Let us know in the Comments below. 


 [detroit news]

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Comments (4)
  1. To be fair, the Top Gear episode wasn't completely negative. James May and Jeremy Clarkson actually liked the cars, and although they are rather biased against batteries, the points they bring up aren't outright lies.

    I too am waiting to hear the price on the Focus EV.

  2. Recall also that only a few weeks after Musk's appearance, Bob Lutz appeared on the show to promote the Volt.

  3. The Top Gear bias indicates what is at stake for the UK auto industry. The UK is relatively small in land area and the time to complete an electric car charging infrastructure is greatly reduced. If the charging network were already in place, the Nissan Leaf and other non-UK e-cars would be poised to quickly take a significant portion of the auto market.

    When a UK electric car gets close to production, the infrastructure will be rolled out, Top Gear will miraculously become a proponent of this car, and it will get a subsidy that will give it traction in the UK. The old Top Gear bout with Nissan will be written off as Nissan Marketing’s failure to properly ensure infrastructure before introducing the Leaf.

  4. Notice they didn't mention the duratec engine? Ecoboost please!

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