Jay Leno's guests do battle in electric Ford Focus

Dubbed the Green Car Challenge, the concept is based on Top Gear's Star in a Reasonably Priced Car segment, where a celeb, after a few professional pointers and practice laps, does a timed lap around a test track, with the time then placed on a leaderboard.

In the UK original, the car is of humble stock; the car used between 2002 and 2005 was a Suzuki Liana, while the current vehicle is a Chevy Lacetti (Holden Viva).

The car to be used on Jay Leno's new prime time show is anything but humble.

Indeed, because the electric Focus won't be available for purchase in North America until 2011, the one to be used on the show had to be hand built.

That took three weeks as engineers had to properly tune the suspension so it could be driven quickly around a race track, as well as fit a roll cage and five-point harness for the driver; the development work was done at Ford's Michigan Proving Grounds in Romeo in Michigan.

The Jay Leno Show premieres in the US at 10pm Monday September 14 on NBC. In Australia, it will screen nightly on the Comedy Channel at 7.30pm from Tuesday September 15.

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