Ford Endeavour 70-degree near-vertical drop | The Great Ford Endeavour Drive Bangalore


SUVs have become the most popular vehicle
on road today. Mini, compact, mid-size or full-size, Indian consumers love anything
in the form of an SUV. Strangely enough, majority of the hardcore SUV owners never take their
machines off the tarmac. Therefore, manufacturers organise offroad experience drives from time
to time to demonstrate to the customers what their cars are actually capable of. Ford Endeavour enjoys a formidable reputation
in the full-size SUV segment and the 2016 model has taken its off-road performance to
even greater heights. It comes with a 3.2 litre five-cylinder diesel engine that develops
197 bhp of power at 3000 rpm and a whopping 470 Nm of torque from 1750 rpm onwards. This
power is transmitted through a six-speed automatic transmission mated to an intelligent four-wheel
drive system called the Terrain Management System. Terrain Management System allows the driver
to select between Normal, Rock, Sand and Snow modes to optimize driving dynamics depending
on the driving conditions. To demonstrate the versatility of the SUV,
Ford India is organising the Great Endeavour Drive across various cities in the country.
The off-roading course in Bangalore was complete with steep inclines and declines, side slopes,
axle twisters, alternate rumblers and slush wading. The Endeavour is a massive SUV and it takes
some time to get used to its dimensions, especially the imposing bonnet up front. Driving on the
Normal mode along the trail leading to the playground helped us get used to the Endeavour’s
dimensions. On the Normal mode, 60% of the torque goes to the rear and 40% to the front
at all times. However, when traction control kicks in, it can quickly alter that power
delivery. The first challenge was a steep incline and
it’s a cakewalk for the Endeavour. Just press the Hill Descent Control switch, let
go off the pedals and the SUV crawls down at single digit speeds. It can be a little
intimidating initially, but the Endeavour firmly fills the feeling of confidence in
you. Next up was a deep slush pit with a sharp
turn. To attack the obstacle, we engaged the Grass Gravel & Snow mode. The key here is
to keep the throttle as steady as possible. Natural tendency is to accelerate harder when
the vehicle gets stuck, which only worsens the matter. The Terrain Management System
ensures the accelerator pedal becomes less sensitive and the gearbox upshifts earlier
to prevent wheel spin. The trail then ascended to a combination of
steep inclines and declines and side slopes and we were asked to switch to Rock Mode.
This requires you to stop the vehicle, shift to Neutral, press the low range button and
then shift to rock mode. This is essentially the crawl mode, where the SUV will just walk
over any kind of rocky terrain at snail speed. On the steep inclines, we tested the Hill
Launch Assist system which holds the vehicle for a few seconds when you take the foot off
the brake, giving you enough time to accelerate and crawl up quickly. The toughest obstacle was the 70 degree decline,
which many drivers refused to take and even some of the passengers decided to step out
of the car. The near vertical drop makes your palms sweat and your heart race. However,
225mm of ground clearance coupled with excellent approach, departure and break-over angles
helped the Endeavour handle it with sure-footed ease. The rumble strips were the tallest we have
seen yet and put the Endeavour’s suspension through a serious test. The SUV kept us comfortably
in place without tossing around much. The long suspension travel, stability control
and Torque on Demand impressed on the wheel articulation test, managing to find traction
with two wheels in the air by braking the spinning wheels and sending power to the wheels
with the best traction. For this challenge, we used the normal mode with low-range and
differential lock turned on. That way, there was absolutely no loss of traction. The Endeavour
can even send all the torque to a single wheel if the system detects the other three wheels
have no traction at all. Electric Power Assist Steering with Pull-Drift
Compensation technology works like a charm on the toughest of terrains, helping you manoeuvre
this massive SUV with ease. The Ford Endeavour is built like a tank, so
much so that the SUV kept tackling these tough challenges all through the day without breaking
a sweat. Even though it’s built for adventure, the Endeavours cabin is finished to deliver
highly refined levels of usability and creature comfort, making it a fabulous machine on and
off the road.


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