When we were kids, all we had to entertain us were sticks and stones - but that sure isn’t good enough for today’s generation of youngsters. They know more about iPads and smart phones than we do - and they’re just five. So, we suppose we shouldn’t be that surprised to see that Ford and Fisher Price have created the Power Wheels Smart Drive Mustang – with traction control!
The high-tech, realistic looking battery-operated toy was built using design data from the Blue Oval and even though the little muscle car can do 8kph, it’s the fact that it features a safety system that most actual, life-size cars didn’t have a few years ago that has blown us away.
Two colours are available (blue or pink) and it costs $359.99 (Dh1,320) but let’s get to the computer-controlled safety system called Smart Drive; it can adjust the speed of the motor if it detects wheel slip and if it senses your child is driving a little too recklessly (it’s the only way to drive a ‘Stang…) and is in danger of toppling over, the stability monitoring system will cut power altogether. That’s not all; it even has a digital speed control and battery monitoring system (a backlit LED touch interface allows mums and dads to control the pony car’s top speed from 1.6kph to 8kph and also check battery charge level) and if all this wasn’t enough, it has a slow start and stop system too. Instead of a simple on/off behavior, the motor can increase or decrease speed for fast starts and short stopping distances.
It also has an auxiliary input that connects to a speaker so the little ones can listen to Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and Jeff Lynne (er, maybe not; Drake and 50 Cents more likely…) and another cool feature is a second sound system which creates the real V8-powered Mustang exhaust note when their tiny size four’s hammer the throttle.
“Mustang is one of our best-selling sports cars,” says Gary Collins, senior manager of design, Power Wheels. “For the Smart Drive Mustang, we wanted to amp up the realistic driving experience to make the feeling of getting behind the wheel even more thrilling for kids.”
They’ve definitely done that – it almost makes us wish we were kids again!