We previously reported on Jay Leno's Green Car Challenge which will feature celebrities driving a Ford Focus EV around a race track in competition format outside of the Leno studio.  You can read more about it here.  Now, pictures and specs of the actual car to be driven have been released.

The Green Car Challenge will kick off tonight on the Jay Leno Show.  The first celebrity to get their chance behind the wheel will be Drew Barrymore.  Look for the Green Car Challenge Ford Focus to make its national TV debut tonight after 10 p.m on the show.

The Focus pictured and to be used on the show started life as a typical European market Ford Focus ST.  The five door hatchback was shipped from Germany to Dearborn, MI to undergo the process of retrofitting the electric drive components.

The car sports an electric motor that churns out 141 hp and a whopping 235 lb-ft. of torque.  It connects the electric motor  to a 23 kWh 60 A-h lithium-ion battery pack.  The electric motor has a redline of 7,500 rpms and the entire drivetrain is connected via a single speed transmission.

The special race prepped vehicle comes complete with a full roll cage and Recaro seats sporting the race required five point harnesses.  Additional race prep modifications include Focus RS front springs and dampers and rear springs and dampers unique to the Leno car.

The vehicle is tuned to race conditions.  Ford built a track at its Michigan proving grounds similar to the track outside of the NBC studio.  By testing on this track, they were able to tailor the settings of the vehicle optimally for its life under the rigorous track conditions.

Ford completed the entire vehicle modification and race prep in an amazingly short amount of time of only 6 weeks.  The vehicle will premier tonight and will foreshadow what is to be expected from the companies production Ford Focus BEV slated for production in the U.S. in 2011.

Source:  Ford Press Release



Background: A battery-electric Ford Focus will appear tonight, Friday, Sept. 18 on "The Jay Leno Show" (NBC, Monday-Friday, 10-11 p.m. ET) in a segment they call "Green Car Challenge." The battery-electric Ford Focus will be used throughout the first season of the show, driven by celebrity guests who accept the challenge.


• An electric-powered Ford Focus is ready to race tonight on "The Jay Leno Show" (NBC, Monday-Friday, 10-11 p.m. ET) 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 will be the car used throughout the first season. Actress Drew Barrymore is the first celebrity to accept "The Jay Leno Show's" "Green Car Challenge."

• A one-of-a-king battery-electric Focus will make its television debut tonight in "The Jay Leno Show's" "Green Car Challenge." 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. The "Green Car Challenge" will be a regular segment on "The Jay Leno Show."

• The electric Focus to be driven by celebrity guests on "The Jay Leno Show" is 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. The Focus BEV foreshadows many of the same systems that Ford will begin selling to consumers in an all-new electric Ford Focus, scheduled to go on sale in North America in 2011. The new Focus BEV is one of four electrified vehicles Ford is introducing now through 2012 as part of the company's commitment to deliver best-in-class fuel efficiency with every new vehicle it introduces.

• "The Jay Leno Show"'s unique Focus BEV started life as a European production Focus ST, built in Germany in July. The car was delivered to Ford's world headquarters 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 full 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.

• With a sophisticated electric powertrain, the zero-emissions Ford Focus BEV delivers nearly as much torque at the wheels as a 2010 Ford Mustang V-6. It also stores enough energy to power an average household for 24 hours.

• 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 its proving ground in Michigan so the vehicle would be ready to handle the tight turns.

• Besides an ability to perform on the track, the Ford Focus BEV boasts the impressive statistics of a conventional battery electric vehicle, with a range of nearly 80 miles on a charge and peak power of 141 horsepower (105 kilowatts).

Powertrain: permanent magnetic electric motor
Power: 141 hp / 105 kw
Torque: 236 lb.-ft. / 320 Nm
Redline: 7500 rpm
Batteries: 98, air-cooled, 60 A-h Lithium-ion batteries
Capacity: 23 kilowatt hours
Transmission: Single speed gearbox

Steering: Electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion
Front suspension: Macpherson-type struts
Rear suspension: Independent short-long arm (SLA), control blade multi-link system
Brakes: Front: 12.6 in / 320 mm ventilated discs
Rear: 11.0 in / 280 mm solid disc
Anti-lock system

Wheelbase: 104 in / 2640 mm
Overall length: 171.7 in / 4362 mm
Overall height: 58.9 in / 1497 mm
Overall width: 72.4 in / 1840 mm
Curb weight: 3,421 lbs