There are very few places to drive fast without worrying about getting a ticket or getting air when going over speed bumps. This meant when Ford took a bunch opened up a bunch of their fleet to us on a closed track, it was pretty damn cool.
If you want to go fast, you want a Mustang, which is where we began the day. I’d imagined this being a giant circle track and I was going to get to live out race car dreams I didn’t know I had. However, it wasn’t the case. Instead we were on a shorter, twisty track laid out by orange cones. The only advice I got before driving was to avoid breaking into the turns. I repeated that to myself as I gunned it toward the first curve, trying to fight my instincts to break. My instincts won as I tapped the breaks more and more until I slowed up a bit for the curve. This went on a few times until the course was over in a blink. The course may have ended quickly because I was driving faster than usual, but I could have been because I wanted it to go on a lot longer.
We drove a police SUV, a Ford Focus, a hybrid (which had so much more pick up than I expected. It silently took off when I pressed the accelerator), used the auto-parallel park feature in a timed competition, and an exhilarating stint in a 4-wheel drive (with a helmet!). It was awesome.
Of all the features, I really love auto-parallel park. I zipped past an open spot that looked tight, but the car indicated it would fit. I popped the auto park on, put the car in reverse and let the car take over. After a quick back and forth (I controlled the brake and the pedals), it was perfectly parked. Easy peasy. I wish I had this in my car because I pride myself on my mad parallel parking skills thanks to having lived in San Francisco, but my bigger mom car throws me off. Parking a tank isn’t fun or easy.
People asked me how fast I drove in the cars, especially the Mustang, and I can say I honestly have no idea. I hit the gas, but I was so focused on the course (and trying not to brake), that I never once looked at the speedometer. If only I could ignore my speed in normal life.
Disclosure: Ford paid for me to attend Go Further with Ford, its annual trend conference in Dearborn, MI in June. I found the event extremely informative and I was deeply impressed by company’s thoughtfulness on the environment, green technology, emerging business models, fuel economy, and more. There were no stipulations about any sort of coverage. All opinions are my own.