For many people, the colourand style of their car acts as a psychological short-hand for howthey want to be viewed by the world. A recent study* commissioned by Ford shows that choice of carcolour also says a lot about the buyer’s personality and self-image. And, in many cases, there are stark differences between men and women who choose the same car colour.For example, women who prefer black cars often see themselvesas street-smart and task-focussed – and quick to becomeirritable if things aren’t going their way. Men who prefer blackcars, meanwhile, tend to see themselves as isorganised, easilydistracted and reliant on others to complete projects. Men who go for blue cars are a different story. In touch with theirfeelings and emotions, they place more emphasis on feelings thanfacts when it comes to making decisions. Women who go for blueseek harmony in relationships and avoid conflict – but have strongwill-power. Men who drive a dark blue car – like those who weardark blue suits – tend to be more conservative.Ford commissioned the report to understand the correlationbetween colour choice and individual personality traits.
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Ford is launching new two-tone Focus Red Edition and Focus Black Edition models – colours that were among the top four choices forboth men and women according to the survey.
“Car colour choice can be very revealing – but usually only if youtake into account whether the person behind the wheel is a man ora woman,” said Wendy Lord, psychometric testing consultant andchartered psychologist, who produced the report. “This changedwhen we interviewed people about red and black combinations.Regardless of gender, these tended to appeal to people who aredrawn to exciting and risky activities that offer a rush of adrenaline.” Lord and her team, who surveyed more than 200 people aged25 to 65 in the U.K., also found that silver cars appeal to menwho find it easier to remain calm under stress, while perhaps unsurprisingly men who prefer dark blue cars tend to have asomewhat conservative approach to life. Men who prefer redcars tend to be more personally organised, methodical and goalorientedthan most.
However, women who favour silver, dark blue or red cars remain anenigma – the colours indicated no particular strong character traitsfor women drivers.“The differences between what the colour of a car says abouta male or female driver’s personality could certainly explain why couples with very different personalities can often agree on theirpreferred car colour,” Lord said.
Ford designers find inspiration for colours in latest trends ineverything from fashion, to furniture, and smartphones. The first Red Edition and Black Edition models were introduced for Fiesta last year.
“Bold and expressive colour-contrasting designs used to bethe reserve of extroverts but now they’re part of a muchwider trend that includes not just cars, but clothing and even electronic products," said John Mcleod, chief designer,Vehicle Personalisation, Ford of Europe. “Red and black aretraditionally sporty colours so the two together make a very sporty combination, ideal for thrill seekers. This car isn’t for the averageperson.”
The Focus Red Edition is offered with a Race Red exterior andcontrasting Panther Black roof, black mirror caps and black grillesurround, with the Focus Black Edition featuring the reverse combination. Both models come with exclusive black 18-inch alloywheels; sports suspension; and Race Red stitching on the frontsports seats, leather steering wheel, floor mats, gear shift gaiterand handbrake handle. Models are available with 1.0-litre and 1.5litre EcoBoost petrol engines, and 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre TDCi dieselengines, with a six-speed manual gearbox.
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* The results of the survey of 204 respondents, with a near equalsplit between male and female, were measured using the NEO PI-3personality test.