Rolls-Royce machines in the ride and drive event

[tie_full_img]Rolls-Royce Machines[/tie_full_img]Rolls-Royce Elegance Meets Strength in Phantom, Ghost, Wraith.

The Rolls-Royce car carries a price tag that makes no meaning to does who buy them. What they are particular about is how it should fit their personality and this choice influences their order when they call the dealer.

There are less than 200 Rolls-Royce cars in Nigeria. Actually, the dealership- Rolls Royce Cars- that has the franchise has some Rolls-Royce cars at their showroom but these machines are not for sale. Recently, a dealership put three of them; Ghost, Wraith and the top-of-the-range Phantom on the road at the highbrow Banana Island in Ikoyi Lagos for select Journalists to feel.

The special Ride and Drive event was a time to feel the elegance and strength of these cars which flow from the calm engines. They leap elegantly at the touch of the throttle and come to instant stop when the breaks are applied.

The Rolls-Royce Phantom has a V-12 (6.75 litre) engine while the Ghost and Wraith have 6.6 litre engines. The Phantom at the Ride and Drive was Rolls-Royce Extended Blue Base, the newest in the family. It has extra leg-room and comfortable seats wrapped in leather made from the hides and skins of bulls. The Phantom has customs red interior that is very expensive, according to the Brand Manager, Rolls-Royce Cars, Mr. Tolulope Badamosi.

[highlight color=”green”]“There are 50 colours you can choose from and the floor mat is made from sheep hides and skin. The leather in one Phantom is made from hides of 12 adult bulls. Nine bulls are taken down to produce the leather in both the Wraith and Ghost. Rolls-Royce also does CSR with the meat, which they send to schools in some countries.”[/highlight]

Also, the wood used in the car, called the veneer is from elm to oak clusters and cedar- over 50 types of veneer. “After taking off the back of the wood to process the veneer, the remains are sent to school as well for their artwork. So, Rolls-Royce is actually involved in arts and annually they advice all dealerships to stage an art exhibition locally.”

The Rolls-Royce monogram remains upright while the wheel rotates and it is the only car in the world that displays like this. The manufacturer’s slogan is perfection. The cars at the event are tropicalised and have eight airbags on the dash board, the rear and sides.

Production of the Rolls-Royce car takes from four to six months and there is a timeline set for the person ordering to confirm the features he or she wants.

There are collectors in Nigeria, he said and that these are their biggest customers. After-sales is handed at their facility in Lekki where specialists from the manufacturers come into the country to do regular maintenance and some are stationed at their facility.

On who enjoys the car more between the driver and the passenger, he said “It depends on the model; for a Rolls-Royce customer that is a driver, who loves to drive, will drive a Wraith; for a customer who wants to drive to work, he or she will drive a Ghost and a Rolls-Royces customer that always wants to be chauffeur driven and appear very stately at events, will ride in a Phantom.

 

Zahav Auto Unveils ‘Drive beyond Borders’ Tunland Pickup

Zahav Automobile Company Nigeria Limited, local assemblers of Foton Tunland pickup has urged emerging businesses and astute commercial ventures not to wander afar in search for functional and reasonably priced pickup trucks as it unveiled the all new ‘Drive beyond borders’ Foton Tunland pickup.
A part of the Stallion Group, Zahav Automobile is the assemblers and marketers of Foton Tunland pickup trucks and Chinese engineered BAIC, Changan and Stallion badge automobiles.
Addressing the local media at a guided tour of the company’s new showroom in Kofo Abayomi/Akin Adesola Street – Victoria Island Lagos, Zahav Head of Sales and Marketing, Mr. Sanjay Rupani said Foton Tunland pickup was introduced to assuage some of the challenges small businesses and commercial ventures contend with when prospecting for functional and adaptable vehicle to support their businesses.
“The next generation Foton Tunland pickup would compete in the one tone vehicle segment where renowned brands like Toyota Hilux, Nissan NP300, Ford Ranger and Mitsubishi L200 have demonstrated utter competence,” Mr. Rupani assured.
He said: “Tunland is Foton’s signature of next generation pickup truck exclusively designed to offer impressive visibility and extraordinary driving experience.”
Also adding that Tunland is a perfect choice for both work and leisure, Rupani said: “though Tunland could be of Chinese extraction, the vehicle essentially shares the DNA of two renowned automobile manufacturers – Daimler Automotive Company and Cummins Engine Company.

Ergonomically designed, the 1.5 tonne Foton Tunland pickup truck is a perfect mix of style and practicality with attractive truck lines like the American and Japanese styled cars aimed to woo discerning drivers who want exceptionally fashionable kind of truck.
Tunland is currently marketed as the strongest Chinese pickup in its class even though it looks less Chinese save for the silver coated fancy radiator grille.
The front bumper is certainly an eye catcher and comes with a fluid design; fitted with a set of circular fog lamps and a big trapezoidal air intake which enhances the aggressive look.
Along the sides, are classical oversized wheel arches, which are now a common trait among pickups and, at the back is a pair of triangular shaped taillights that distinguishes Tunland from competitors.
A peep inside the cockpit reveals upscale styling with winged shaped dashboard and ergonomic three-spoke-steering-wheel with plenty of space on the first row seats, and ample leg and headroom for both the driver and passengers.
The rear bench is pretty spacious and inadvertently compares to the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger pickups.
Every control is placed intuitively without necessarily clustering the centre dash and the instrument gauges are easily read both at night and day time. The materials and plastics are also elegantly equipped with a no-nonsense instrument panel layout.
The seats are similarly comfortable with plenty adjustments to help you find your favourite driving positions in no time. This is in addition to the all around visibility with big lateral mirrors that ensures confidence.
Standard equipment includes two front airbags, ABS, 16 inch steel rim fitted on 245/70/16 tyres; air-conditioning, fabric seats, power exterior mirrors, two-speaker single CD tuner and auxiliary audio input jack.
Tunland is powered by powerful 100Kw Mitsubishi 2.4 gasoline (petrol) engine, the strongest in its class with displacements below 3.0 and maximum output of 200Nm (2500-300) which is appreciably higher compared to similar products. This feature gives the vehicle an edge in harsh road conditions.
The powertrain is based on a modular design concept while its engine is 10% lighter than the ones used in similar pickup trucks to ensure extremely low noise and vibration levels with considerable maintenance cost.
The application of the latest technology such as ECU (Electronic Control Unit) which uses SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) and EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) technologies makes the engine extremely eco-friendly by employing precise measurement and control mechanisms of intake of air and combustion process to reduce pollution substantially.
Rupani explained that Tunland five-speed manual gearbox offers decent performances with pretty smooth turns to allow the vehicle pull heavy weights without sacrificing vigour.
The Foton Tunland also comes equipped with electronic switches for auxiliary 4WD system with options to choose from 4H & 4L that allows you to choose the suitable mode according to different road conditions while the 2H mode is normal on road use.
Tunland suspensions are above all, toughened to absorb difficult bumps and carry big loads without sacrificing performance just as the braking power is secured by disc at the front and drums at the rear, Rupani said.
Also adding that adequate preparation has been made for aftermarket activities, the company sales and marketing helmsman said “We have stocked sufficient parts to cater for aftermarket activities and Foton Tunland particularly is backed by three years or 100,000km warranty.”

Centre: The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright; L-R: Chris Maskell, Director UK Trade & Investment, Nigeria; Abiona Babarinde, Coscharis, GM Marketing & Corporate Services; Ufuoma Umukoro, Coscharis GM, JLR Sales & Cletus Aregbeshola, Coscharis Jaguar Land Rover Brand Manager during the recent Bond is Great premiere in partnership with Jaguar Land Rover at the Silverbird Cinema in Lagos.

Hyundai Motor Unveils Rendering of New Genesis G90

[dropcap]H[/dropcap]yundai Motor has revealed the first rendering of its new range-topping G90 luxury sedan. The elegantly designed, technology packed model hints at the recently-launched Genesis brand’s design identity and future direction.

Jin (James) Kim Vice President and Head of Operations for Hyundai Africa and Middle East, said, “The G90 concept images of this new luxury sedan are guaranteed to instill confidence in our customer base which is continuously looking for world-class design and new levels of luxury. This model will arrive next year and it will be the first of six new Genesis models which will launch in Africa and the Middle East by 2020.”

Following the global announcement of the Genesis brand launch earlier this month, we are delighted to release these concept images of our new large luxury sedan. Africa and the Middle East has a taste for all things luxury therefore we are confident it will prove popular with our customer base across both regions when it launches next year.”

As the Genesis brand’s flagship model, G90 is a blueprint for change and innovation that will distinguish the Genesis brand. Majoring on ‘human-centered’ technology combined with engaging driving dynamics, G90 boasts a raft of world-best safety features and technological innovations to set itself apart in the luxury market.

[tie_full_img]Genesis G90[/tie_full_img]

G90 also showcases the Genesis brand’s hallmark design style ‘Athletic Elegance’, interpreted by the newly-formed Prestige Design Division to bring graceful and profound elegance to G90’s significant proportions. Crowned by the Genesis emblem, the grand radiator grille combined with sophisticated headlamps communicates the car’s dynamic, future-orientated character. A theme that flows along a body-length character line to the long and agile rear lamp cluster completes the Athletic Elegance of G90.

Hyundai Motor created the Genesis brand for a new generation of discerning consumers. Capitalizing on its success in the fast-growing global car market, Hyundai Motor will launch six new Genesis models by 2020.

Infinity Express partners Vivo Energy, opens in Ghana

[dropcap]F[/dropcap]rontline tyre company, Infinity Tyres Ghana Limited, has announced the debut of its new retail concept in Ghana with the opening of Infinity Express in association with Vivo Energy Ghana Limited (Shell Licensee), located at Shell Filling Station. The store features the entire product line up of Light Truck Radial, Passenger Car Radial and Car Battery segments.

Managing Director of Infinity Tyres Group, Mr. Arshi Chadha, said the outlet is “perfect for discerning motorists, professional riders and new customers alike, Infinity Express creates a completely immersive experience into the world of tyres and batteries”.

According to him, “Infinity Tyres has always represented the best in tyre and battery industry. We are now able to offer a complete showcase for our products and services as well as a modern setup for our customers, bringing this central mission to life in a new way.”

“Shell is a brand known around the world for quality, and quality was the compelling factor about Infinity that made us associate with them. I am extremely happy to say that we are more than delighted to see this outstanding store right in front of us, which, we are sure will provide the best quality products and services to the valuable customers of Ghana” said Mr. Jerry, from Vivo Energy, Ghana Limited.

Commenting on Infinity Tyres’ association with Vivo Energy, Country Manager of Infinity Tyres Ghana Limited, Mr. Ajit Singh Chauhan, said, “Vivo Energy’s unchallenged reputation of providing right quality fuel in right quantity, neatness of fuel forecourts, availability of stations at strategic locations, appealing branding and huge retail network has created millions of happy customers in Ghana…this is just exactly what we were looking for…and I am sure this association will create wonders”.

A unique retail destination, Infinity Express provides customers the opportunity to discover value proposition in tyres with a retail space, a gallery featuring Pirelli, Infinity and CEAT branded Tyres and Delkor Batteries, and an ultramodern service area equipped with fully automated machines to effectively serve the valuable motoring populace of Ghana.

In his remarks, Executive Director, Infinity Group, Mr. Rajesh Chawla, said “Infinity Express complements an extensive dealer network and serves to further grow our brands in Ghana. We are extremely delighted to continue to serve the erudite people of Ghana with this uniquely modern retail store. The company’s retail concept will continue to expand in association with Vivo Energy covering lengths and breadths of the country”.

M-B Automobile Services, Bang & Olufsen Celebrate Excellence

[tie_full_img]M-B Automobile Services, Bang & Olufsen Celebrate Excellence[/tie_full_img][dropcap]M[/dropcap]ercedes Benz, M-B Automobile Services and Bang & Olufsen, two high-profile brands, celebrated 25 years and 90 years respectively, during the week.

The unique celebration of these lifestyle accessories began with media briefing on how the journey has been so far these years. Bang & Olufsen is a Danish company that is renowned for its exclusive pieces of entertainment machinery, while the top-notch reputation of the Mercedes Benz remains in everybody’s mind.

Both companies are domiciled at the Mercedes-Benz Center, Lekki, Lagos, where the celebration took place. To do something remarkable to celebrate 90 years of the existence of Bang & Olufsen, the company challenged its engineers three years ago to come up with something new. They took up the challenge and came up with loud speakers of very unique designs-not box speakers- one is circular with gold-plated rim and the other has the shape of cut diamond.

 

The General Manager of Bang & Olufsen Nigeria, Mrs. Chinwe Uwatse said, “Although to us this is not the end, but another step in a never ending journey…in the pursuit of the perfect loudspeaker – to listen to, to live with and to last another lifetime – or we should just start with the next 90 years…

It is a perfect mix of world-class design and acoustics in what may well be the most complete and powerful digital loudspeaker designed for use in a private home.

“For many years, Bang & Olufsen has put considerable emphasis on innovation so that today, the innovative spirit pervades throughout the entire organisation. Passion, pride and persistence are values that are deeply rooted in our corporate culture,” she said.

The Managing Director, Mercedes-Benz Center, Mr. Benson Uwatse, who said he belongs to the engine room of the business, “Mercedes-Benz has been in business in the past 130 years and Bang & Olufsen has done 90 years and to celebrate their 90th year, they invented something that does not look like loud speakers- this is a totally different approach. They make entertainment systems for very few customers; they are not for everyone.

Explaining, Uwatse said, “You can buy a television set for N100,000 or even less but Bang & Olufsen does not make that kind of television; I think their TV set begins from about a million naira and they have been quite successful.”

The celebration, he said was a special occasion for them and on twenty five years of Mercedes-Benz Center, saying “We used to be called Mercedes-Benz shop out there in Masha, Surulere and it was our dream that one day we will have a place we can call Mercedes-Benz Center and we did in 2011.”

Uwatse said there is a synergy between Mercedes-Benz and Bang & Olufsen, saying the entertainment/sound systems in most Mercedes-Benz come from them. “Bang and Olufsen is a high-end quality product and Mercedes-Benz is also high-end quality product. In Nigeria, I am the link between the two; I thought that it is same clientele really. The same people who bought Mercedes-Benz from us have also bought Bang & Olufsen from us.”

He said it is a lifestyle for very few people and that those who belong to that status of life gravitate from Mercedes-Benz on the road to Bang and Olufsen at home.”

He said the first Mercedes-Benz car with 4MATIC all-wheel drive celebrates its premiere in 1985 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The system in the 260 E 4MATIC and the 300 E4MATIC consists of sophisticated control electronics and an automatically actuating front-wheel drive with transfer box and differential. The drivetrain concept also incorporates the ASD automatic differential lock and ASR acceleration skid control. Up to a speed of 12 km/h, both axles provide drive in a 35:65 split (front axle to rear axle). At higher speeds, the 4MATIC automatically switches to rear-wheel drive. In the event of slip at the rear axle, the system changes back immediately to four-wheel drive mode. At the time, no competitor offered such a sophisticated system combining comfortable, automatic control with the best possible handling and exceptional safety.

4MATIC for the Front-Wheel-Drive Architecture: Fully Variable Torque Distribution. Mercedes-Benz has developed a new generation of its 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive system specifically for the front-wheel drive models with transverse engines. It is always combined with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and is notable for its fully variable distribution of torque between the front and rear axles, as well as its extremely compact and lightweight construction. The launch in 2013 of the CLA 250 4MATIC and the CLA 45 AMG 4MATIC marks the arrival of the fi rst two premium compact cars based on the new front-wheel-drive architecture with 4MAT1C all-wheel drive. Today, all frontwheel-drive models, from the A and B-Class, through the CLA and CLA Shooting Brake to the GLA, are available with the fully variable system.

[highlight color=”pink”]4MATIC for the Rear-Wheel-Drive Architecture: Optimum Traction and the Best Possible Safety[/highlight]

The permanent all-wheel drive for the C-, E-, S-, CLS and V-Class models based on the rear-wheel- drive architecture guarantees optimum traction under all conditions, combined with the best possible agility and safety – especially in wintry road conditions. One guarantee for smooth and refined handling characteristics is the torque distribution of 45 to 55 percent between front and rear. The intelligent interaction of the 4ETS electronic traction system and the ASR anti-slip system with the ESP® electronic stability programme ensures optimum variable distribution of the drive forces to the wheel with the best grip. With the 210 E-Class range Mercedes-Benz presents the first Mercedes car with 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive and the 4ETS electronic traction system in 1995. The intelligent system combines the weight benefits of electronic control with the unbeatable traction of permanent all wheel drive. This principle has been systematically developed ever since and is now used in all Mercedes all-wheel-drive cars from the A to the G-Class. AMG Performance 4MATIC All-Wheel Drive – Amazing Road Dynamics

The AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive for the rear-wheel-drive models distributes the engine torque 33:67 between the front and rear axles. This rear-biased distribution of power ensures typical AMG road dynamics, outstanding driving fun and even better acceleration figures. The AMG Performance 4MATIC for the A 45 AMG, CLA 45 AMG, CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake and GLA 45 AMG compact models ensures the best possible relationship between dynamics, traction and efficiency in all driving situations – thanks to its fully variable torque distribution, which ranges from purely front- wheel drive to a 50:50 split. The first AMG model to come to market with permanent all-wheel drive is the E 55 AMG 4MATIC in 1999. It combines the performance of a sports car with the traction of an

SUV, making it extremely dynamic under all weather and road conditions. The CLA 45 AMG in 2013 is the first AMG compact model with 4MATIC all-wheel drive, combining maximum driving fun with the greatest possible road safety.

Ford Targets Profitable Growth in Middle East & Africa with 30 New Vehicles by 2020

[dropcap]F[/dropcap]ord is introducing a full family of cars, utilities and trucks to benefit customers throughout Middle East & Africa.

  • Ford is introducing new driver-assist technologies designed to improve safety, convenience and enjoyment
  • Vehicle sales in Middle East & Africa are estimated to grow 40 percent by 2020; Ford expects to outpace overall industry sales growth during that period

DUBAI, November 9, 2015 – Ford Motor Company today said it plans to accelerate new vehicle introductions in Middle East & Africa, leveraging the company’s One Ford global portfolio and targeting opportunities for growth in the car, utility and truck segments.

 

Speaking on the eve of the Dubai International Motor Show, Ford said it plans to launch at least 30 new vehicles by 2020 in Middle East & Africa as part of a new regional strategy. Ford’s product push will start quickly with eight new vehicles throughout Middle East & Africa by the end of next year, including the following that will be shown at the Dubai show:

 

  • The Ford GT super sports car, which is making its regional debut in Dubai this week.
  • The all-new Shelby GT350 Mustang. The Middle East is one of the biggest Mustang markets outside of North America.
  • The all-new 2016 Ford Edge SUV that launches next year in MEA.
  • The new 2016 Ford Explorer SUV, which is launching this month in the Middle East.
  • The new 2016 Ford Ranger pickup, which is Ford’s best-selling vehicle in MEA and produced in Silverton, South Africa.
  • The all-new 2016 Ford Figo compact car, which is currently launching in MEA.

 

“Middle East & Africa is one of the world’s most exciting and growing vehicle markets and we are moving very quickly to expand our range with exciting cars, utilities and trucks,” said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president, Europe, Middle East & Africa. “We are passionate about meeting the diverse wants and needs of the customers in this region – and that’s how we are going to profitably grow in 2016 and beyond.”

 

Throughout its broad range of vehicles, Ford has introduced a number of innovative systems and technologies in its vehicles designed to keep drivers and passengers safer on the road. These include Inflatable Rear Seat Belts, Ford SYNC connectivity and infotainment system and MyKey, which helps parents encourage teens to drive more responsibly by managing features like maximum speed and radio volume.

Other newly-launched technologies are designed to assist the driver in maintaining control of the vehicle and avoiding crashes. These include Roll Stability Control, Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross-Traffic Alert.

The product and technology acceleration comes two years after Ford announced the formation of its Middle East & Africa region at the Dubai Motor Show in November 2013. Since then, Ford has consolidated the sub-regions of Middle East, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa, into a single business unit.

 

As part of its long-term strategy, Ford MEA is strengthening every aspect of its business, including:

  • Opening 35 new dealerships in the next two years
  • Improving customer experiences
  • Further tailoring global vehicles to the needs of MEA markets
  • Improving its distribution strength and capability
  • Identifying efficient sourcing opportunities for global and regional production
  • Building and developing its regional organisation
  • Building and developing its vehicle finance operation
  • Improving cost of ownership and spare parts availability throughout the region

“It’s an incredibly exciting time for Ford in this growing region,” said Jim Benintende, president of Ford Middle East and Africa. “We are committed to serving customers in this region with the very best of Ford, and this will drive growth and profitability.”

 

The total Middle East and Africa car market is expected to grow 40 percent by the end of the decade to 5.5 million vehicles. Ford said it expects its sales in Middle East and Africa to outpace industry growth.

 

“Middle East & Africa spans 67 markets from Saudi Arabia to South Africa, and from Nigeria to Kenya, so customer tastes are as diverse as our markets,” Benintende said. “Thanks to our One Ford plan, we can offer vehicles and technology that customers want and value, tailored to the needs of our markets.”

 

Since the creation of its MEA region in 2014, the company has expanded its business throughout the region, including:

 

  • Executive Chairman Bill Ford helping inaugurate Ford’s MEA region with the 50th anniversary Mustang reveal on top of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building
  • Opening sales and purchasing offices in Morocco to expand in North Africa
  • Announcing assembly this year of the Ford Ranger in Nigeria
  • Opening 25 new dealerships in MEA
  • More than quadrupling the staff in its Dubai headquarters, with more growth to come

Serata Italiana Lamborghini Gala 2015

The 2nd annual Serata Italiana Lamborghini club meeting took place back in August during the Monterey Car Week in presence of some high-profile guests including Lambo’s CEO Stephan Winkelmann and legendary test driver Valentino Balboni. So although it might be a bit late, but you are still going to enjoy looking at a bunch of really cool Lamborghinis.

 

The exclusive, members-only Serata Italiana 2015, sponsored by Lamborghini San Francisco, brought together an amazing group of Lamborghinis, from vintage models, to the latest production versions of the Aventador and Huracan, even the Estoque concept. The vent also included some fine wining and dining, worthy of its distinguished guests, with oyster and champagne flowing all around. So yes, if you always wondered how awesome owning a Lamborghini really is, the answer is VERY!

So you may never get to go to one of these meetings, but nothing’s stopping you from having good time browsing the gallery:

Serata-Italiana-2015-0 Serata-Italiana-2015-0-600x364 Serata-Italiana-2015-1 Serata-Italiana-2015-3 Serata-Italiana-2015-4 Serata-Italiana-2015-5 Serata-Italiana-2015-6 Serata-Italiana-2015-7 Serata-Italiana-2015-8 Serata-Italiana-2015-9 Serata-Italiana-2015-10 Serata-Italiana-2015-11 Serata-Italiana-2015-12 Serata-Italiana-2015-13 Serata-Italiana-2015-14 Serata-Italiana-2015-15 Serata-Italiana-2015-16 Serata-Italiana-2015-17 Serata-Italiana-2015-18 Serata-Italiana-2015-19 Serata-Italiana-2015-20 Serata-Italiana-2015-21 Serata-Italiana-2015-22 Serata-Italiana-2015-23 Serata-Italiana-2015-24 Serata-Italiana-2015-25 Serata-Italiana-2015-26 Serata-Italiana-2015-27 Serata-Italiana-2015-28 Serata-Italiana-2015-29 Serata-Italiana-2015-30 Serata-Italiana-2015-31 Serata-Italiana-2015-32 Serata-Italiana-2015-33

Ford Intelligent All Wheel Drive is Ready for Anything

[dropcap]D[/dropcap]eep in California’s Mojave Desert, extreme sports enthusiasts pilot quadbikes, motorbikes and “sand rail” dune buggies up and down towering sand dunes.

Nearby, Ford engineers keep a safe distance from the thrill-seekers while repeating gruelling 16 kilometre non-stop loops through the dunes in 38C heat and more, to develop and prove out the Intelligent All Wheel Drive system for the all-new Ford Edge sport utility vehicle.

Ford’s Intelligent All Wheel Drive system measures how well a car’s wheels are gripping the road surface and can deliver a seamless transition of torque between all four wheels in less than 20 milliseconds – twenty times quicker than it takes to blink – to provide a more secure footing for Ford Edge, Galaxy, Kuga, Mondeo and S-MAX drivers, especially in slippery conditions.

Ford also offers Ford Performance All Wheel Drive for the Ford Focus RS high-performance hatchback to optimise performance on road and track, as well as driver-selectable four-wheel drive for the Ford Ranger pickup and a unique Intelligent All Wheel Drive system for the Transit van for tackling tough off-road terrain.

Ford develops the technologies in challenging conditions from gruelling deserts, to the Arctic Circle, and Ford’s top secret test facility in Lommel, Belgium, to ensure customers can expect optimised traction and durability.

“So that extreme sports enthusiasts in dune buggies don’t get too big a surprise when they crest the next dune and meet road-going SUVs in the middle of the desert, we attach 3-metre flag poles to models like our all-new Edge to make them easier to spot from further away when we head out into some of the most remote and unforgiving terrain in California,” said Derek Ward, technical specialist, Ford Global Advanced Vehicle Dynamics. “Our Intelligent All Wheel Drive technology means we can take the Edge through territory many customers would be surprised to learn it can handle.”

At Austria’s Grossglockner High Alpine Pass – one of the highest paved roads in Europe – Ford tests Intelligent All Wheel Drive-equipped vehicles to ensure they can tow trailers or caravans up unremitting inclines without overheating or suffocating their powertrains in thin mountain-top air.

The 48 kilometre stretch climbs to 2,504 metres through 36 challenging hairpin bends and at an average gradient of 9 per cent up Austria’s highest mountain.

Development and testing regimes for Ford’s all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive systems also involve: Tackling the rugged terrain of the Flinders Ranges – the largest mountain range in South Australia; High speed driving at the hands of Ford’s vehicle dynamics experts in Lommel; at the Nardo test facility, Italy; and at the Nuerburgring in Germany; Enduring temperatures in excess of 40C at Ford’s Arizona Proving Grounds, U.S.; Off-road testing at demanding locations across South Africa and Australia; cold climate testing at Wanaka in New Zealand, Arjeplog in Sweden, the Alaskan interior, and the Finnish Arctic Circle in temperatures of -30C

Testing on different types of surface and in a variety of climates enables Ford engineers to fine-tune the response strategies and torque delivery of the Intelligent All Wheel Drive systems, and hot climate off-road testing for the Ford Kuga also led to the development of shielding ducts that optimised airflow to the power transfer unit for greater durability.

For the Focus RS, two years of intensive testing on both road and track surfaces delivered a new Ford Performance All Wheel Drive system carefully optimised to work in tune with the model’s sophisticated suspension and steering systems, and featuring a water-cooled power transfer unit for ultimate performance and durability.

 

Predictive technology

Ford’s Intelligent All Wheel Drive technology uses sophisticated sensors to compare vehicle speed and individual wheel speeds to detect when a wheel is slipping, and also is able to predict when a loss of traction may occur from the driver’s use of the steering and pedals. The system can pre-emptively adjust torque distribution to avoid wheel spin, reducing the workload for drivers and delivering smoother journeys for passengers.

Ford is developing future all-wheel drive technologies that will monitor inputs from a greater number of sensors and vehicle controls, delivering more traction and even better fuel efficiency from all-wheel drive-equipped vehicles.

“All-wheel drive technology is one of the most effective ways to enhance safety and confidence for our customers. By early next year Ford will offer all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive on eight models – almost 50 per cent of our line-up – compared with three models in 2012,” Ward said.