The ever-reliable Ford Endeavour is now available with a BS 6-compliant 2 l engine paired with the world’s first 10-speed automatic transmission. The result is a sure-footed, powerful and nimble SUV that also delivers improved refinement, efficiency and performance.
It was in February 2019 that Ford India had introduced a midlife upgrade on the Endeavour, its premium SUV offering, essentially with an updated feature list. The SUV was still powered by two engines – a 2.2 l diesel unit paired with a six-speed manual as well as six-speed automatic transmission, and a 3.2 l diesel engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Both these engines were compliant with the earlier BS IV emission norms.
A year later, Ford India has introduced a new version of the Endeavour – now in a BS 6 avatar, equipped with a new 2 l, four-cylinder EcoBlue diesel engine that puts out about 167 hp of power and 420 Nm of torque, and a 10-speed automatic (torque converter) transmission – the world’s first. While the exterior design of the new Ford Endeavour remains quite the same – barring the new full-LED headlamp cluster and the side badging that now just say Endeavour instead of the earlier engine specs – the engine and transmission combination actually transforms the vehicle entirely, and also ups the ante in the premium SUV segment. Let’s look at both these changes individually.
10-SPEED AT WITH SELECTSHIFT
The 10-speed transmission is a result of collaborative work between Ford and GM – a partnership that was announced in 2013 to develop both nine and ten-speed automatic transmissions. While GM took the lead in the nine-speed project, Ford took charge of the ten-speed gearbox. The result is a fantastic transmission that offers many unique features.
Structurally, the transmission unit is made using high-strength steel, aluminium alloys and composites. While the choice of materials has helped bring down overall weight, as well as aid durability, the wide-ratio span and optimised gear spacing has made the transmission more responsive, thus bettering acceleration and performance.
Then, there is the unique SelectShift or Progressive Range Select function. A first-in-segment feature, this technology allows drivers the ability to lock gears in a desired range, in situations such as off-road driving. The transmission makes use of adaptive algorithms, which allow it to skip or jump gears, when necessary, both on the way up and down. For example, if one needs to accelerate hard, the transmission is capable of shifting from the seventh or eighth gear to the third gear and then, when the vehicle reaches the optimum cruising speeds, it can shift from the fourth to the eight gear.
We experienced the vehicle at the Sam sand dunes in Jaisalmer recently, and marvelled at the capability of the SelectShift technology in combination with the terrain management system (TRS). The TRS comes equipped with four pre-set modes – Normal, Snow/Mud/Grass, Sand and Rock – that alter the vehicle’s throttle response, transmission, the four-wheel-drive system and traction control.
Ford engineers we spoke to claimed that while shifting, the 10-speed transmission offers a modest 20 % drop in rpm. The smooth shifts are facilitated by six clutches, engaging and disengaging in (dual-clutch) pairings.
2 L ECOBLUE ENGINE
The new BS 6-compliant 2 l EcoBlue diesel engine is claimed to be 14 % more fuel-efficient. The company claims a segment-topping 13.90 km/l mileage on the 4X2 variant, while the 4X4 variant claims a fuel efficiency of 12.4 km/l. Moreover, as compared to the outgoing 2.2 l variant, the EcoBlue engine offers a 20 % improvement in low-end torque. There is also a claimed reduction of 4 dB in idle noise on the EcoBlue engine.
The bore x stroke of the direct injection turbo-diesel engine is measured at 84 x 90 mm, while the compression ratio is rated at 16.5:1. Ford has also introduced further innovations on the EcoBlue engine, including a 10 mm offset crank design that minimises piston side-load, reducing rubbing forces against the cylinder walls; minimised crankshaft bearing diameters; a belt-in-oil design for the camshaft and oil pump drive belts; an optimised valve-train and an all-new single-piece camshaft module; and a new mirror-image porting design for the integrated inlet manifold that precisely controls the flow of air into the cylinders.
The engine features latest generation 2,000 bar common rail injection, with eight-hole piezo injectors. It is capable of up to six injections per cycle. It also features a gear-driven high efficiency aluminium injection pump. The cylinder head is made of aluminium with a 16-valve double overhead camshaft (DOHC) layout, and twin cooling jackets for increased stiffness. It also features Ford’s first mirror-image inlet manifold and a low-inertia turbocharger with rocket engine materials that help deliver more than 20 % more low-end torque.
Compliance with the latest generation emission standards is made possible by the use of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), which is commonly known as AdBlue. This fluid is automatically injected into the vehicle’s exhaust system, which contributes to improved NOX reduction. Compliance is also aided by the use of close-coupled oxidation catalyst and particulate ﬁlter.
Apart from the new engine and transmission combination, Ford has also introduced its mobility and connectivity solution FordPass on the Endeavour. This connectivity platform (app) would allow a user to perform several vehicle operations such as starting, stopping, locking or unlocking the vehicle, or even remotely locating the vehicle. The cloud-connected device will come as a standard fitment on all Endeavour variants, which will communicate with vehicle owners in real-time via the FordPass smartphone application.
Safety wise, the Endeavour comes fitted with up to seven airbags, including a driver knee airbag. Other safety and convenience features include semi-auto parallel park assist, hill launch assist, hill descent control, push start button, hand-free power lift rear gate, rear and front parking sensors, rear parking camera, automatic headlamps, automatic wipers, DRLs, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power-adjustable driver & front passenger seat. Also on offer is the Active Noise Cancellation technology to help reduce low-frequency engine sounds from entering the cabin.
Ford has offered the Endeavour to customers in three trims: Titanium 4X2 AT (Rs 29.55 lakh), Titanium+ 4X2 AT (Rs 31.55 lakh) and the top-of-the-line Titanium+ 4X4 AT (Rs 33.25 lakh). The company has also announced it would increase prices of the Endeavour by up to Rs 70,000 from May 1, 2020. Considering the advanced technologies on offer, Ford has managed to price the Endeavour very attractively. Anyone in the market to buy a premium SUV, now has a sure-footed, powerful and nimble SUV that also delivers improved refinement, efficiency and performance.
TEXT: Deepangshu Dev Sarmah
PHOTO: Ford India