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The Ford Endeavour is an SUV that can usually be seen blowing past many of the potholed roads that dot the cities across India. The Endeavour isn't your everyday city runabout that can also cruise on the highways; the massive SUV is also a beast off-road.
DriveSpark recently got to experience the Ford Endeavour's off-road capabilities first hand as it tackled the great outdoors in the Garden City of Bangalore.
Powering the Ford Endeavour is a 3.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine that kicks out 197bhp and 470Nm of torque. The 6-speed automatic gearbox sends power and torque to all four wheels with the help of Ford's intelligent four-wheel drive system.
The Torque-On-Demand system shifts torque between the front and rear wheels with the most grip to provide maximum traction and will even send all the torque to a single wheel if it detects the other three wheels have no traction at all.
The Terrain Management System (TMS) on the Ford Endeavour controls the way the SUV responds to different terrain. A dial next to the gearbox controls the system and there are various buttons that control four-wheel-drive system and the differential locks right next to it to give the driver more control of how the Endeavour behaves.
The dial's natural position is 'Normal Mode' which sends 60 percent of the power to the rear wheels and 40 percent to the front, perfect for city streets and slightly rough terrain.
The first challenge in the form of slush pit lay ahead of the Endeavour and the TMS dial was turned to the Snow/Mud/Grass Mode (perfect for snowed out roads, bogs and mush pits) to tackle the slippery conditions.
This mode lowers the sensitivity of the throttle and forces the gearbox to upshift faster and downshift slower allowing for more predictable throttle response and allows the engine to show off its low-end torque.
With Snow/Mud/Grass Mode on, the Endeavour mashed up the slush pit with ease, even negotiating a sharp left-hander on the way.
Up next lay one of the toughest challenges yet, rugged hills that required the Endeavour to turn to its most hardcore setting - Rock Mode. To engage Rock Mode, the Endeavour needs to be in neutral, and the SUV's low-range gearbox comes into play.
With Rock Mode engaged and the Hill Launch Assist holding the massive SUV in place on the slope for a few seconds, a gentle prod to the loud pedal, saw the Ford Endeavour clambering its way up the rocky outcrop as if it was taking a walk in the park.
The descent down though required more tweaking of the controls found on the steering wheel to set the speed of the descent right down to the absolute minimum with the help of Hill Descent Control.
Letting go ofthe brakes proved to be quite hard but once released the Ford Endeavour took control of the braking sytems and made its way down the slope down without a hint of trouble.
Ahead lay a rather loose surface meant to mimic the sandy surface of the desert, and the TMS dial switched to Sand mode (this mode makes the accelerator pedal extra sensitive and allows the wheels to slip even more to maintain momentum while the gearbox holds on to higher rpms for longer). The Ford Endeavour flattened the troublesome sands as it plotted its way through the tricky surface.
Ahead lay some sloped banks and with Rock Mode and the diff lock engaged, the Ford Endeavour clambered up the banks before we bought it to a halt at an angle. The instrument cluster happily announced that the Endeavour was stationary on a 23-degree slope (It can handle up to 35-degrees).
The Ford Endeavour then encountered its biggest challenge, a 70-degree downhill slope. Sliding down the slippery slope was a surreal experience with the rear wheels lifting off the ground for a minuscule moment as the Endeavour traversed down the steep slide.
The Endeavour then advanced towards a set of ditches around one foot deep each which popped up alternatively on either side of the track. Despite the depth of the trenches, the soft suspension of the Endeavour glided over the ditches as if it was going over a minuscule pothole on a city road.
Dennis James Thinks!
At Rs 31.50 lakh ex-showroom (Bangalore) for the top-spec variant (which we drove), the Ford Endeavour's off-road capabilities make it the perfect SUV for someone looking for a SUV for the streets and the places where roads don't exist.