NEW DELHI, India — What happens when you take an internationally successful sedan with rally and touring genes to a Formula One test track and let it loose? Well, the tarmac burns, the adrenaline rushes, fans gush and pretty soon the machines prove why they did bag all those international awards.
Last Saturday was one such day with the Fiesta Hot Wheels event at Buddh International Circuit (BIC) near New Delhi, which gathered 40-odd social-media influencers to test the All-New global Fiesta PowerShift Automatic on India's first ever Formula One race track. The event was an opportunity to engage with a new, but select set of influencers, including car enthusiasts, Twitter influencers and auto blog journalists.
After a brief press-conference about the vehicle, Ford India President and Managing Director Michael Boneham flagged off the rally to let the drivers test the car's abilities.
"We have launched the Fiesta Automatic with class-leading features and amazing driving comfort and convenience at a very affordable price. Be prepared to be surprised today," he said.
Strapping on their seat belts and wearing a helmet, the drivers were ready to take off. Two complete laps on the circuit, and the drivers came back impressed with the amazing driving and handling experience of the global sedan and were asking for more.
Ford also created a city driving situation on the track, where they could use the creep function. It also allowed the drivers to test its segment-first Hill Launch Assist and Grade Assist functions.
Ford India ensured the event got enough buzz in cyberspace by allowing participants to log into their Facebook profiles through RFID tags. Participants posted pictures and updates about their experience on Facebook.
"I'd trade my Hyundai for just one lap around the track in a Ford Fiesta AT," Monish Nangrani posted on Facebook.
While the event was full of energy, it created equal buzz – from some people cancelling their bookings for other cars to opt for the Fiesta PowerShift Automatic, to jealous tweets from several people who could not be a part of the event.
Tweet zones in the event area meant the action was captured live and went viral on Twitter, in no time generating over 3,300 tweets. In fact, the Fiesta Hot Wheels event was trending on Twitter from 1.30 pm to 9 pm on that day. Several videos by the driving teams also went up on YouTube and had thousands of page views.
The event got ample coverage on several leading autoblogs and portals, with Motorbeam stating that, "the Fiesta PowerShift Automatic is easily the best automatic petrol car you can buy in India below Rs. 15 lakhs and that too by a long margin."
"This was a unique event to drive the excitement around our recently launched Fiesta PowerShift Automatic. We weren’t the first automobile brand to host a drive at the BIC, but we turned out to be the first brand to go trending with the drive," said Deeptie Sethi, head of Communications at Ford India.