Tuesday, April 17, 2012 | 4:53 p.m.
Hummmmmm. Can you hear it? That’s the sound of an electric pace car at a Sprint Cup race.
Ford Motor Co. announced this week that it will feature an all-electric Ford Focus pace car at Richmond International Raceway later this month.
That’s like having Hello Kitty stickers on a switchblade or pantyhose on a Navy SEAL. Everyone understands there are certain things in this world that don’t go together. But that understanding seems to be lost in this PR stunt.
NASCAR is the temple of big horsepower, big fossil fuel consumption and big, chest-pounding noise. But green is in, and NASCAR has done a lot to bring environmental responsibility to the sport. Ford, to its credit, understands that the future must include more environmentally friendly cars. That’s why it wants to promote its electric car to the potential customers sitting in the stands. But a quick glance in the parking lot of any NASCAR event will reveal that those customers are more likely to respond to an F150 pace truck than a humming electric car.
Look, I’m all for autos that consume alternative energy sources. But when I’m at a NASCAR race I want to see a pace car that reflects the speed, power and noise of the sport.
What’s next, a wind-powered pace car with a giant sail on its roof?