Mobility 'tuned' Focus Breaks Boundaries For Disabled Drivers
The Mobility 'Tuned' Focus ZX3.
2002 New York Auto Show
NEW YORK, March 27, 2002 – The Ford Mobility “Tuned” Focus puts young people with disabilities into the driver’s seat of the “hot-hatch” craze inside the world’s best-selling car.
At this year’s New York International Auto Show, Ford is displaying a customized Focus ZX3 that demonstrates the mobility enhancements that can make vehicles accessible yet still exciting to people with disabilities. Ford worked with aftermarket appeal manufacturer Ballistic Unlimited and Bruno Independent Living Aids to create the “tuned” Focus, which has a “street racer” appeal and features.
“This Focus is not only tuned for the street, it is tuned for active people with disabilities,” says Chris Theodore, vice president of North America Product Development. “It shows young people with disabilities that they, too, can participate in the growing sport compact car craze and experience the exhilarating feeling of freedom that comes from driving a performance streetcar.”
The Mobility “Tuned” Focus has as its base a vehicle that was designed with careful attention to ergonomics and smart packaging. Ford designers used the company’s innovative “Third Age Suit” to help understand the needs of aging and disabled drivers. As a result, the Focus has more headroom and easier ingress and egress than other cars in its class.
Seats feature Bruno Power Turnouts™ swivel bases in both the driver and passenger positions, allowing the seat to rotate 90 degrees.
Instrument panel controls – including larger radio and climate control knobs and buttons – are designed to be easier to locate, grab and manipulate.
Building from this solid base, Bruno Independent Living Aids of Oconomowoc, Wis., stepped in and worked to make the car even more accessible to people with disabilities. The seats feature Bruno Power Turnouts™ swivel bases in both the driver and passenger positions. They allow the seat to rotate 90 degrees. Also added were custom low-profile front seats with removable seat cushions that provide an even more ergonomic seating position.
Rotary, hand-operated Wells-Engberg driving controls were integrated into the car to give the driver independent, simultaneous one-hand control of both the throttle and the brake. The twist- grip hand controls are located to the left of the steering column.
Custom black-suede-and-silver-dazzle-Stitchcraft leather-like upholstery allow mobility modifications to appear seamless and stylish throughout the interior.
Along with the mobility aids, the Mobility “Tuned” Focus has the power and performance to match its edgy looks. The engine is enhanced with a Toucan Industries performance air intake, ignition wires and a Bosal Chameleon stainless “cat-back” exhaust system. Braking and cornering are enhanced by a lowered Intrax suspension, Toucan reactive upper strut, Axis Ne-o 17-by-7-inch wheels, Power Stop rotors and Pirelli P7000 225/50R-17 tires.
Wells-Engberg driving controls give the driver independent, simultaneous one-hand control of both the throttle and the brake.
Ballistic Unlimited also added cool art style to the exterior. The ZX3 has been painted Infra-Red with Modern Image Graphics Corporation’s sliver and carbon flames outlined in black. The body kit comes from Wings West Avenger and has prototype Muth Signal Mirrors, as well as Body Pros tinted headlamps and taillamps.