Ford offers first Focus test drive to the public

Ford is offering the public the chance to be the first to test drive the new Ford Focus in southern Europe.

As part of the new One Ford strategy, the manufacturer is inviting bloggers, social media and Facebook fans to a Global Test Drive of the new Ford Focus in 2011, months before it goes on sale worldwide.

Participants will be given the chance to thrash the Fords Focus around several ‘high-speed, high adventure activities’ during the trip and a free to blog about it afterwards.

Every person chosen for the trip will also receive the equivalent of $10,000 (about £6,300) to give to a charity of their choice.

Only 100 people from around the world will be chosen as the first ever test drivers of the new Ford Focus hatchback, which goes on sale in 2011.

Participants will be selected on their online content, social networking and the amount of votes they receive. More details are available on Ford’s Facebook page.

The UK’s best-selling car has been updated for 2011 with more efficient engines, tweaked handling and some new styling and equipment.

The global platform it is based on means it will be sold in several different markets and as such the Focus has been widened slightly to suit US tastes.

However, severe weather and road testing by Ford has led to the manufacturer promising the famous Focus driving capability handles as well as ever.

The car also features electronic power steering and a performance oriented ST version is expected to follow after its debit at the Paris Motor Show in October 2010.

Speaking about the Global Test Drive, Ford said: "Ford gets some early feedback on a critical new global vehicle while drivers and their guests will savor an exhilarating international experience, and charitable organisations will benefit."