Published on March 14th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Ford EcoSport SUV_Ready For Work and Play
The all-new Ford EcoSport is always ready to go where the road leads, be it through narrow city streets or rough roads. Coming to Malaysia in just a few months time, this compact urban SUV promises a large audience as Malaysians start looking at saving fuel whilst enjoying a just about go anywhere vehicle for the urban jungle. The Ford EcoSport comes with high ground clearance, exceptional water-wading capability, refined ride and smooth handling.
The Ford EcoSport offers a high sitting position that gives the driver a clear view of the road ahead. Its ground clearance of 200 millimeters means customers won’t have to worry about driving over speed bumps and potholes. This is complemented by superior breakover and approach angles of 25 degrees, and a departure angle of 35 degrees.
With an outstanding ability to wade through 550 millimeters of water, drivers can confidently drive through large pools of water, especially during the monsoon season.
To give customers peace of mind when driving the all-new EcoSport, Ford engineers put the SUV through an exhaustive testing process during its development. Almost 20,000 computer-aided assessments were conducted during the virtual testing phase, with solutions optimized through hundreds of iterations.
The urban SUV also racked up more than 2 million kilometers in more than 12,000 test center simulations and road tests in South America, North America, Asia and Europe – including some in temperatures from -25 to 50 degrees Celsius and at altitudes of up to 4,300 meters.
“We tested the all-new EcoSport to the extreme so that customers know they can depend on this SUV to take them places,” said Trevor Worthington, vice president, Product Development, Ford Asia Pacific. “With its high ground clearance and superior water-wading capability, the Ford EcoSport is well-suited for exploring, no matter the season.”
Nimble and agile
The all-new Ford EcoSport is fitted with an electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) system, which delivers precise steering with a natural and confident feel. More than 90 parameters have been carefully tuned to deliver accurate responses at high speed while remaining light and manageable in parking maneuvers. The steering is also intelligent enough to vary its assistance based on vehicle speed, steering wheel angle, cornering forces and acceleration or deceleration.
Because the belt-driven power steering pump is eliminated, EPAS results in a quieter vehicle with fewer components drawing engine power. The EPAS steering system also reduces fuel consumption by at least three percent compared to a conventional hydraulic power steering system.
EPAS also enables new technologies that adjust for minor driving annoyances. Pull-Drift Compensation detects road conditions – such as a crowned road surface or blustery crosswinds – and adjusts the EPAS system to help the driver compensate for the pulling and drifting these conditions can cause.
Active Nibble Control helps reduce vibrations that transfer through the steering wheel. This feature senses and eliminates the “shimmy” felt at high speeds when a wheel is out of balance or a brake rotor is warped. Both software-based technologies are designed and integrated to be seamless and unnoticeable to the driver.
The steering accuracy of the EPAS system is particularly useful when negotiating narrow city streets. The Ford EcoSport’s tight turning circle of 10.8 meters also makes navigating urban traffic easier, especially when making U-turns on streets with cars parked on both sides.
Cool, quiet and refined
Paying special attention to passenger comfort in the Ford EcoSport’s cabin, the engineers developed an air-conditioning system that is so effective it can cool the cabin from 65 degrees Celsius – the interior temperature of a car that has been sitting in the afternoon sun – to under 30 degrees Celsius in just 10 minutes.
The automatic climate control system uses inputs from the sun load sensor, ambient temperature sensor and integrated in-car temperature sensor to adjust and maintain the desired temperature in the cabin.
To help mitigate the effects of air conditioning on fuel economy, engineers used a new compressor technology that requires less energy, so occupants can enjoy cool comfort without burning a hole in their pockets. To ensure that the all-new EcoSport’s climate control system can handle all weather conditions, it was tested in temperatures from -20 to 50 degrees Celsius and at humidity levels between 20 and 85 percent, and went through at least 1,000 wind tunnel tests.
After getting into the Ford EcoSport, occupants will quickly realize how quiet it is. Ford engineers were meticulous in their efforts to prevent noise, vibration and harshness from intruding into the cabin. They spent countless hours tweaking computational fluid dynamics models and testing vehicle shapes in the wind tunnel to help reduce wind noise.
Sound-deadening materials have been fitted in the doors, roof and body to minimize noise from making its way into the cabin. To reduce the chance of leaks and whistles, the team used a double-sealing system for the doors and applied new technologies to improve glass seals. Inside the cabin, the urban SUV has an acoustic headliner that helps absorb ambient noise.
The result is impressive – the all-new Ford EcoSport boasts remarkable levels of interior quietness. The articulation index – which measures how easily passengers can converse in the cabin – is the highest in its segment. This allows passengers to chat with one another without having to raise their voices, even when traveling at speeds of up to 130 km/h on the highway.
In addition, the suspension geometry in the all-new EcoSport has been specially designed for an urban SUV. Dampers and springs have been tuned to achieve an optimal balance of steering, handling and ride. Typically, the design of a vehicle suspension involves a difficult compromise between ride comfort and handling, but the engineering team used dampers with a hydraulic rebound stop to combine more of both qualities in the vehicle.
The hydraulic rebound stops use hydraulic fluid to dissipate energy when the damper approaches its full extension. The technology can reduce the peak force by two to three times compared with traditional mechanical rebound stops, providing a smoother ride for the customers and preventing damage to the vehicle or suspension.
This also helps avoid noise when driving over speed bumps. At the same time, the team engineered excellent stability into the Ford EcoSport by reducing the roll gradient, or how much the car rolls while steering.
The tires on the Ford EcoSport have been developed to complement the suspension, providing an ideal balance of low rolling resistance, compliance and grip. The low-rolling-resistance tires not only help reduce fuel consumption but also reduce road noise and deliver outstanding driving dynamics.
Ford EcoSport SUV Specifications
Engine: Inline-4, DOHC, 16V, Fuel Injection Duractec Ti-VCT
Transmission: 6-speed Powershift With Select Shift
Max Power: 110PS @ 6,300rpm
Max Torque: 142Nm @ 4,400rpm
Fuel Consumption: 6.5liters/100km