AutoblogGreen's Sam Abuelsamid recently had a chance to drive one of Ford's new test fleet cars. And it wasn't just any new car. It was one of the new fuel cell powered Focuses (Foci?). The test drive was held as part of the opening of a new hydrogen filling station in Taylor, MI. Ford rolled out 6 of these sedans for attendees to try. As Sam explains, the ride was short, but the impression was positive.
The biggest difference from driving a standard Focus was getting it started. Kind of like the old days of diesels and waiting for the glow plugs to warm up, he had to turn the key and wait a few seconds before he had full power. Only a faint hum from under his seat let him know the car was running. The one-speed transmission was shifted into drive and besides the quiet, it felt a lot like an automatic Focus.
The brakes are electro-mechanical calipers from ContiTeves, with good pedal feel. However, they were a little grabby at first. Range should be 175-225 on a full tank of hydrogen, depending on driving conditions. That tank, by the way, takes up the entire trunk in the Focus. A NiMH D cell battery pack is used to run the pump for starting the fuel cell. As Sam points out, a more thorough review should be available in the near future. Click the read link for more details and photos.