The winning design will go on sale later this year.
Thanks to social media, automakers can engage with gearheads online easier than ever before. Last month, Ford ran a series of polls on Twitter inviting fans to vote for their favorite Ford model of all time.
Now, Ford is letting fans help create a new special edition version of the high-performance Puma ST crossover. In a unique opportunity, between June 1 and June 10 Twitter and Instagram users will be able to vote for a range of design features that will be added to the final production version.
Ford also let users vote on the design for the Team Fordzilla P1 hypercar created by Ford's eSports video game team, but this is the first time Ford has enabled customers to help design a car that will go into production.
To help design the special-edition Puma ST, fans on Ford's European Twitter and Instagram channels will be able to vote for the color combinations of the paint, decals, brake calipers, and seatbelt stitching and choose between a badged or de-badged exterior. Fans will also get to vote for the name of the special edition Puma ST.
The winning design elements will then be applied to the special edition Puma ST when it enters production at Ford's Craiova manufacturing facility in Romania. Each vote will be open for 24 hours before the final specification and name is revealed on June 18. After that, the fan-made Puma ST will go on sale later in the year.
"We know our Ford Performance fans want their vehicles to look as good as they drive, and there's no better way to discover what our performance customers love most than to put them in the driver's seat and let them make key decisions about the appearance of our new Puma ST special edition," said Amko Leenarts, director, Design, Ford of Europe. "This is human-centred design in action, and we can't wait to see how the final version turns out. It's going to be a huge thrill to see the real thing out on the road."
Nearly 250,000 fans voted on Twitter to choose seating position, cockpit style and drivetrain of the virtual Team Fordzilla P1 virtual race car, which was built as a full-size replica model, so we'll have to wait and see if the Ford Puma ST design competition attracts as much publicity. Sadly, the special-edition crossover won't be available in the US since Ford doesn't sell the Puma ST in America. In the US, the closest equivalent is the high-performance Ford Edge ST SUV.