Ford Endeavour 3.2 4×4 Off-Road Drive – A True Test of Purpose-Built Capability

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The all-new Ford Endeavour 4×4 comes with Terrain management system with sand, snow, rock or mud drive mode

Ford India launched this massive beast earlier this year in India in 2 engine options, 2.2L & 3.2L. I got the 3.2L version for the road test the very first time and was amazed by its on-road performance and presence. The new-Ford Endeavour is a fun to drive big SUV in city as well as highways but one thing left to test out was its off-roading capability due to unavailability of a good off-roading track. I sent back the vehicle without testing the magic dial (TMS dial), TMS dial is what Ford claims as “Tame any Terrain at the Turn of a Dial”.

Last week, we got a invite from Ford India to experience the “The Great Ford Endeavour Drive” on the off-road track.The testing facility for the Great Ford Endeavour Drive was created by Terrain Tigers – an off-roading community in the outskirts of Gurgaon near Gurgaon-Faridabad road in Bandhwari village amidst the Aravalli mountain range.

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After reaching the venue’s starting point of the drive in Bandwari Farms, we were given a quick instructional overview about the technology of the mammoth. I had been allotted in the group no.3 and every group consisted of 6 SUV’s and all were 3.2 4×4 AT Titanium variants in the top of the line specs.

Before all, let me answer why the all-new Ford Endeavour is one of the Best SUVs ?

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These three technologies give the purpose built capability to the all new Ford Endeavour.

1) Active Transfer Case with Torque on Demand – Active transfer case provides 2-speed Four-wheel drive operation with high range of 1:1 and low range of 2.48:1. Active transfer case has a single switch control with fixed torque ratio between front and rear in low-range four-wheel-drive allowing for excellent traction performance.

2) Electronic Locking Rear Differential – For the extreme traction capability, driver can lock the rear differential manually with just a push of a button.

3) Terrain Management system – Terrain management system comes with 4 different terrain setting to provide optimal performance in all conditions. Each setting affects the four-wheel drive system, transmission calibration, brakes, traction and throttle behaviour.

So, these three technologies make the new Ford Endeavour 3.3 4×4 a true champ of all terrain and I tested out all these on the off-roading drive. On the drive, I was accompanied by a Terrain Tiger’s off-roading expert who guided me about the speed, steering movement, TMS mode and lot more things.

The Great Ford Endeavour DriveFor the next 1 hour, we had passed around 12 -13 hurdles and the first one was Hill Descent. My navigator told me to put the TMS into Rock Mode and the result was as expected. The 3,000-kilogram mammoth passed the first obstacle of 60-degree downhill without any stress followed by a 45-degree sandy uphill. It gave me lot of confidence for the remaining part of the drive.

Soon after the hill descent, the another obstacle was The Raid. My navigator told me to switch out of low range to the Normal Drive mode. In Normal drive mode, the standard torque split is 60/40 rear-wheel biased, but delivers some torque to front wheels as necessary based on steering and throttle inputs, and to minimise wheel slip. It was the quick dash on the sandy track, the SUV remained in control even on some zig-zag turns, all thanks to the effective traction control system.

The Great Ford Endeavour Drive-38After the first 2 obstacles, the New-Endeavour gave me enough confidence and I was curios to get some more tougher obstacles ahead. Green Laning was the third obstacle and I drove the SUV in the Normal Mode only as i want to check the capability of the SUV in standard mode.

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Green laning track made on 1.5 feet of grass. High ground clearance, good shock-absorbers and the short overhangs on both ends made the drive easy without any scratches on bumpers.

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We reached to Slush Pit Obstacle around the 10.30 AM and my co-driver told me that from here, the most interesting and adventurous part of the drive had begun. I moved the dial towards Grass, gravel and snow mode, accelerated hard because the photographers standing on the other side of the slush pit wanted some splash shoots.

The Great Ford Endeavour Drive-33 It was a perfect drive through the slush pit as I gave a good splash action and the SUV strongly remained in control and it didn’t slip for a single centimeter. In the lap 2, I did cross the Splash Pit in normal mode and the result was the same. The next obstacle was 100 metres away and that was a Left Hand Downhill followed by 40-degree tilt angle. 

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Again, I switched on the Hill Descent control along with low-range on. It was another similar task for the new Endeavour but I was little scared to do the 40-degree tilt angle in first lap because it was a left tilt drive consisting of right turn and nothing was visible from the driver seat. My co-driver come navigator did his duty very well and we did complete another task comfortably (not that much).

As I got more excited, I was told by him that the most adventures/dangerous part of the drive was in front of me – 70-degree sharp drop followed by right hand tilt and ascending climb at the top. 

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The 70-degree sharp drop obstacle was done in low range with electronic differential lock engaged. It was an another blind task initially to take the SUV onto the right path, thanks to the Terrain Tigers volunteers for the hand signals and we entered into the obstacle comfortably.

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As expected, this task too was completed effortlessly and the next two as well. However, right hand side tilt was more scarier than left hand because I was on the lower side this time. The Ascending climb offset obstacle was done with keeping some momentum and the Endeavour came out upwards with a jump and a soft bump and was ready for the next and final obstacle Water Wading. It was there to test the water wading capacity, ground clearance, approach angle and departure angle of the new Endeavour.

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The water wadding capacity of 800 mm along with 225 mm ground clearance, 30-degree approach angle and 25-degree departure angle played important role in the final obstacle.

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I was instructed properly how to cross this – easy-in so that the surface won’t damage the front bumper or engine, give power in midway and don’t leave accelerator until the car climbs up and I followed the instruction carefully and climbed out of the muddy water wading easily. However, some of my fellow drivers made a mistake in between to enjoy the winch drive.

The Great Ford Endeavour Drive-32While returning back to the starting point where group no.4 was waiting for us, we tested out the suspension on the Rumble strips followed by the Chicken holes to check the articulation of the vehicle. Finally, I tested out fully the off-road capability of the new Endeavour I was waiting to do for months. Hats off to the Ford India and Terrain Tigers for providing us the opportunity to test the capability of the mighty Endeavour and this machine proves that it is made for ‘all terrain’.

Also, if you want to read the Road test Review of 3.2 4×4 version, do click here

Specification Ford Endeavour 2016
Length 4892 mm
Width 1860 mm
Height 1837 mm
Wheelbase 2850 mm
Ground Clearance 225 mm
Tyres 265/60 R18
Weight 2394 kg

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