Rip up the health warnings: new science suggests driving is good for you.

Simon Hacker answers your Qs.

Q I'm depressed. It's still January.

Yes, but it's been good week for the humble car. First, What Car? magazine hit back at the hysteria against diesel when it made the Volvo XC D4 best overall car of the year.

Q A diesel getting an award?

Indeed. Safe in the knowledge that the Volvo emits less NOx than many petrol competitors, while CO2 remains low as ever, What Car?'s gong will be seen as a big step towards introducing calm and rational analysis to the headless chicken diesel debate. But there's more. We have much bigger news to banish January blues...

Q Try me.

Okay... thanks to those men in white coats at Ford, we've just got some "preliminary" research in that proves driving is actually... good for you. Or more specifically - and get the bunting out, Avon Tuners - driving a performance car.

Q You're kidding.

No, Ford's conclusion to some rather disco experimentation concludes that "Driving a performance car could be an essential part of your daily wellbeing routine." They could have saved a shedload and asked us at AT HQ, of course, but late or not, Ford, welcome to our world.

Q Prey tell, what's their methodology?

Starting with the belief that "high octane" moments in our life (as long as you don't blow a gasket) provide us with a buzz that stimulates our wellbeing, Ford looked at some everyday activities that it defines as "buzz moments". You know the stuff: sex (well, Ford calls it passionate kissing), watching your favourite boxset, the perfect takeaway, riding a rollercoaster. Ford's scientists tracked the neurological responses to these activities from volunteers, and then stuck them behind the wheel of (and no, this isn't the Daily Mash) the Ford Performance Buzz Car.

Q Otherwise known as a Focus RS?

That's the one, give or take a bit of fancy wiring. This model has been modded to incorporate wearable and artificial intelligence technology which animates the driver's emotions in real time across the car's exterior. Check the video. Basically, if nothing lights up, you need a defib (not included).

Q And the result?

Huge surprise: the test drivers competed fiercely with Blackpool's illuminations. "A roller coaster may be good for a quick thrill, but it's not great for getting you to work every day," Dr Harry Witchel, Discipline Leader in Physiology told me. "This study shows how driving a performance car does much more than get you from A to B - it could be a valuable part of your daily wellbeing routine."

Q Any other Ford tried?

Ford also used a Mustang and Focus ST, just to be sure. Participants in all three models experienced an average of 2.1 high-intensity buzz moments during a typical commute; this compared with an average of three buzz moments while riding on a roller coaster, 1.7 while on a shopping trip, 1.5 each while watching a Game of Thrones episode or a football match. And 0.1 while strapped in a chair for looped recordings of The One Show. Actually, we made that one up. Sorry for the image.

Q Looks like the handiwork of Designworks surely?

Clever boy. Indeed, the Buzz Car is a Designworks collaboration. Just for reference, here's the recipe: 1,400 man hours of prep, from concept, design and installation to software development and programming, 200,000 LED lights integrated into the car and linked to the driver through the empathic gurus at Sensum, a high-performance Zotac VR GO gaming PC, 110 x 500-lumen daylight-bright light strips and 82 display panels with 188,416 individually addressable LEDs.