Ford is touting the emotional health benefits of the cars produced by its performance division, releasing the results of some preliminary research into how much of a “buzz” driving a performance car can generate versus a few other fun, exciting activities. So-called “buzz moments” are known to boost our wellbeing, says Ford, so if driving a Ford Performance vehicle can deliver such buzz moments, it follows that the car should positively affect the driver’s emotional health.
To find out how well driving a Ford Performance vehicle is able to deliver buzz moments, Ford’s European division had voluntary participants take part in a variety of activities – from riding a roller coaster, to watching their favorite soccer team, to having a passionate kiss with a loved one. The automaker also put these participants behind the wheel of a Ford Focus ST, Focus RS, or Mustang, and throughout every test, monitored physiological data like heart rate and galvanic skin response to detect the number of buzz moments.
Of all the activities that Ford of Europe had participants take part in, driving a Ford Performance vehicle ranked second-highest with an average 2.1 buzz moments per drive. Only riding a roller coaster ranked higher, with an average 3 buzz moments per ride. Going shopping was third, with an average 1.7 buzz moments, while watching soccer and watching an intense Game of Thrones episode tied for fourth with 1.5.
“A roller coaster may be good for a quick thrill, but it’s not great for getting you to work every day,” says Brighton and Sussex Medical School Senior Lecturer in Physiology Dr. Harry Witchel. “This study shows how driving a performance car does much more than get you from A to B – it could be a valuable part of your daily wellbeing routine.”