It feels intuitive that a spirited drive is good for the soul. In the right car, it can be absolutely exhilarating, even life-altering. Ford, though, decided to go beyond intuition and back this feeling up with some science. To do so, the automaker undertook a study to compare driving a performance car to other feel-good activities. It even created a "Buzz Car" that translates driver emotions visually.

For the study, researchers wired up participants and had them perform a number of entertaining activities to capture moments of peak thrills, or "buzz moments." They then measured their emotions while shopping, dining, dancing, watching sports, watching "Game of Thrones," enjoying a passionate kiss, riding a roller coaster and commuting in a sports car. The cars used for the study were a Ford Focus RS, Focus ST and, of course, a Mustang.

"The results were quite interesting," said psychologist Dr. Harry Witchel. "Ultimately, what we found is that, as you would expect, riding a roller coaster does provide the most concentrated form of buzz moments, but that driving a performance car is the most reliable and the most accessible way of getting these moments."

During the various activities, the average number of "high-intensity buzz moments" a participant experienced were as follows:
  • Roller Coaster: 3
  • Driving: 2.1
  • Shopping: 1.7
  • "Game of Thrones": 1.5
  • Football Game: 1.5
  • Kissing: 0
  • Salsa Dancing: 0
  • Dining: 0
In addition to the study, Ford worked with neurologists and designers to create the Ford Performance Buzz Car. The Buzz Car is a Ford Focus RS equipped with wearable technology, a high-performance gaming PC with artificial intelligence software, light strips and thousands of LED lights. This allows the car to translate the driver's emotions into dazzling light displays on the exterior of the car.

Ford says it's studying ways to allows its cars to better respond to driver emotions, which seems to be a growing trend in the automotive industry. "We think driving should be an enjoyable, emotional experience," said Ford research scientist Dr. Marcel Mathissen. "The driver-state research Ford and its partners are undertaking is helping to lead us towards safer roads and — importantly — healthier driving." This buzz moment experiment from Ford experiment demonstrates that driving a performance car can be integral in one's "daily well-being routine." Can't say we disagree.

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