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Ford tailors Endura to Australian tastes, needs

Unique engine, tow hitch wiring highlight Australianised Ford Endura large SUV

18 Dec 2018

FORD Asia Pacific says two key changes were made to the Endura large SUV specifically for the Australian market, with its engine and tow hitch wiring requiring extensive development work.


Speaking to GoAuto last week at the Endura national media launch in Healesville, Victoria, Ford Asia Pacific Edge/Endura chief program engineer Scott Henker said the Australian-market model’s engine is not used overseas, where the large SUV is known as Edge.


“This is a unique powertrain design,” he said. “Within the family of our vehicles and this platform, this powertrain was designed very specifically for this market.


“It is responsive, it has a lot of tech, it has a lot of power, it’s got outstanding fuel economy and it provides a solution for trailer tow that’s very strong.”


As reported, the Endura is motivated by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel unit that produces 140kW of power at 3500rpm and 400Nm of torque from 2000 to 3000rpm. Its claimed fuel consumption on the combined cycle test is 6.7 litres per 100 kilometres.


Like Australia, the Edge is exclusively available with diesel engines in Europe, while North America’s line-up – including the 250kW/515Nm performance-focused ST variant – is petrol-only.


Despite the fact that the United Kingdom is a fellow right-hand-drive market located in Europe, it does not have access to Australia’s unit, although the engine does appear in the Transit van in some markets.


Instead, the UK-market Edge is offered with a pair of 2.0-litre four-cylinder units – a lower-output 110kW single-turbo and a higher-output 175kW twin-turbo. Torque outputs are yet to be confirmed.


Mr Henker said the Panther engine family, from which the Endura’s unit is derived, can be customised at factory, with this process resulting in the Australian-market solution.


“Within that family, we have different part numbers in the plant,” he said. “Sometimes they come with certain levels of accessory, emission.


“The motors have maybe 20 different part numbers for those families of vehicles, because of the markets we actually ship vehicles into.”


Meanwhile, Mr Henker said the Endura’s towing set-up is also unique, as the Australian-market tow hitch wiring features a 12-pin connector that is not found in Europe and North America, which differ between themselves.


“One of the things we learnt in the processes was your trailer tow interface, electrically, is probably the most sophisticated that we’ve seen in the industry,” he said.


“We’ve designed an electrical system that provides maximum capability to all functions and trailer tow systems in this market.


“You’re going to see the benefit of that, and the customers that actually tow the vehicles will realise what those benefits are and appreciate them.”


The Endura has a braked towing capacity of 2000kg, which is around 1000kg short of most of its rivals, but Mr Henker stressed that it is more than up to the task, even when compared to the Edge.


“I liken America to Australia more than I do to Europe, because in Europe, everything’s flat land; they rarely tow up hills,” he said.


“In Australia, like America, we’ve got hills and you’ve got rough roads, so when we built the Australian implementation, we did the rear structure of the vehicle to be more robust for the loading and trailer system.”


The Endura’s main body harness also had to be modified to meet Australian Design Rules (ADRs) for a factory towbar, which is a $1000 option on all variants and a unique proposition in the segment, according to Ford Australia.


Buyers who wish to purchase and fit the towbar at a later date can do so via Ford Australia’s dealer network, with it supplied by the same parts manufacturer used for the factory unit.

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