The specs

Like modern makeup marketing: great names - Stealth, Tangerine Scream, Candy Red. Mine was Deep Impact - which is also a 1998 science fiction film. My blue Ford Focus has everything and the kitchen SYNC - say the word and it shall be done. Voice control enhanced active park assist. Try this at home.

Cruise control for those long journeys. Sporty Spice - with sports suspension, and a 1.5l Eco Boost - so you get speed and control plus fuel economy.

The car

Everything about the Ford Focus ST is engineered to excite, according to the brochure. I can confidently report that there is nothing more exciting than watching the steering wheel spin you into a parallel park while you are totally hands free. I could've applied full makeup while parallel or perpendicular parking. As long as you have your feet on the brake when you need to, the sensors are super-accurate and it's a slightly spooky and thrilling experience. Like an interactive game of Poltergeist. Also, awesome wheel-to-curb spatial judgment. I do love a good parallel park. I am slightly resistant to technology that takes away the actual driving. I like to drive. But resisting the march of car technology is like willing the sun to not rise. And vehicle technology is a good thing. The future is driverless. Are we there yet? We're very close.

The drive

Where better to take this zippy hatchback than through the new Waterview tunnel, turn around and come back through the other side? With the sunroof you could get a great perspective of the lights and the whole tunnel buzz. Also, always a great test of a car's abilities is to take it on the weekend sports run, which usually involves hurtling off in one direction of Auckland - listening to Google Maps mispronounce place names - and back again for miles in the opposite direction. Won't bore you with the geographical details, but suffice to say, this turned out to be a road trip without leaving the wider Auckland area. Pelting, relentless rain. Streams of traffic. We were all comfortable at all times. It has heaps of pep, it's exhilarating in sport mode. Night driving is a total joy. The supersonic lights make it so.

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