At an event this week at Mondello Park Racing Circuit in Co. Kildare, Ford Ireland demonstrated the company’s new Intelligent All Wheel Drive technology on a range of models including Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy.
The Irish launch of these Intelligent All Wheel Drive vehicles comes as the company expects to sell 139,000 all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles across Europe in 2016 – a 120 per cent increase compared to 2014.
Ford now offers eight out of 17 vehicle lines in Europe with sophisticated all wheel drive or four wheel drive technologies, compared to three models in 2012. During 20016, Ford vehicles that are equipped with systems that help drivers tackle off-road terrain, improve grip on slippery roads, and even optimise performance for track driving, will include the all-new Ford Edge and Kuga sport utility vehicles (SUVs); Ford Galaxy, Mondeo,Mondeo VIgnale and S-MAX passenger cars; all-new Focus RS high-performance hatchback; the new Ranger pick-up; and the Transit.
Commenting on the new line up of All Wheel Drive vehicles, Ciarán McMahon, Chairman and Managing Director of Ford Ireland, said: “We are delighted to be demonstrating these Intelligent All Wheel Drive vehicles to the media and customers in Ireland. These vehicles enable us to offer a growing number of customers the right technology that meets the needs of their daily lives”.
The Ford Edge, Galaxy, Mondeo and S-MAX offer Ford Intelligent All Wheel Drive, delivering a seamless transition of torque between all four wheels to provide a more secure footing on the road especially in slippery conditions. Intelligent All Wheel Drive measures how the car’s wheels are gripping the road surface and can adjust torque delivery up to 50/50 between the front and rear wheels in under 20 milliseconds – twenty times quicker than it takes to blink.
By only delivering torque where and when it is needed, Intelligent All Wheel Drive has minimal impact on fuel-efficiency and CO2 emissions compared with permanent four-wheel drive systems. The Ford Transit also features a unique Intelligent All Wheel Drive system, offering class-leading traction and dynamics and featuring a selectable all-wheel drive lock mode for optimised grip in extreme conditions.
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.
“For an increasing number of fleet customers and, indeed, private individuals, all-wheel drive technology is one of the most effective ways to enhance safety and confidence. Anyone who ever has need to drive on rough terrain or who puts up significant mileage will recognise the multiple benefits that Intelligent All Wheel Drive can bring,” concluded McMahon.