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AIMS: Huge outdoors display for Ford

Behind the wheel: Ford will host an interactive outdoor stand at next week's AIMS, almost ten times larger than its stand inside the venue.

Interactive 4600 square-metre Ford stand to put AIMS visitors behind the wheel

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Ford logo12 Oct 2012

FORD Australia’s outdoor presence at next week’s Australian International Motor Show in Sydney will be almost ten times larger than its stand inside the venue, with the company today announcing details on a 4600 square-metre interactive exhibit.

The ‘Smart Drive’ outdoor display will be located immediately outside the main entrance of the Darling Harbour venue, and allow show-goers to get behind the wheel and test a range of Ford technology for themselves.

The course has been constructed from blue shipping containers, with up to seven vehicles circulating around the mini-circuit over the course of the show from October 18-29.

The outdoor stand will complement Ford’s presence inside the show proper, which as we have reported is expected to be just 484 square metres – around a third the size of fellow locals Holden and Toyota – and will “showcase the future direction of Ford’s vehicles and technology”.

Headlining the outdoors stand will be a ten minute “smart drive” of the new Focus Titanium around a small test track, allowing punters to test out its much-publicised Active City Stop autonomous brakes, as well as the Active Park Assist and SYNC connectivity systems.

Visitors will also be able to get up-close with the next-generation Kuga compact SUV several months before it goes on sale, with Ford staff on-hand to demonstrate its “open sesame” automatic tailgate, which uses a motion-detecting sensor to open the door.

A ramp installed on the stand will also allow the public to get behind the wheel of the Australian-designed Ranger Wildtrak ute to test the Hill Descent and Ascent control systems, while the new Falcon four-cylinder EcoBoost will on-site strapped to a “dyno” display.

Alongside the interactive exhibits will be an undercover static display of 14 vehicles from the Ford range including the Fiesta, Focus, Focus ST, Mondeo EcoBoost, Falcon G6E and XR6 ute, Ranger, FPV RSPEC and the RSPEC ute.

As we have reported, the Ford Performance Racing Car of the Future will also make its first public appearance before it enters the V8 Supercar series in 2013. Other Ford vehicles making their local debut will be the EcoSport and new-generation Kuga SUVs.

The interactive set-up builds on Ford’s approach from previous years, with its internal stand at last year’s AIMS in Melbourne featuring the longest dwell-times of any manufacturer.

Ford Australia president and CEO Bob Graziano said this year’s set-up would take this “to the next level” of customer involvement.

“The Ford stand is dynamic and the ‘Smart Drive’ experience is a key part of our strategy to showcase our Smart technologies and stimulate participation in a really exciting drive experience at the show,” he said.

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