Sport-utility worth its salt has to give at least a version 4 Ã— 4, right? For this gap still remained to be covered by the new generation EcoSport. No more missing: with permanent all-wheel drive system borrowed from the U.S. Escape brother, the debut model 4WD jeep in version 2.0 FreeStyle. See how the novelty behaved on earth.
What is it?
new 4WD system is quite different from that used in previous EcoSport. Now the system (controlled by a clutch multidiscos electronic systems coupled with traction control and stability) is always the jeep with the engine torque sent to the two axes. Under normal conditions, most of the force is concentrated on the front wheels but they simply skate for receiving the rear wheels more torque. According to the engineering manager Fabio Okano, distribution can reach 100% on the rear axle, if necessary. And for what serves the 4WD button on the panel, then? “With it activated, greater force will be directed to the rear wheels, but in practice the automatic splitting is enough for most situations,” explains the engineer.
Along with AWD, 4WD Eco comes equipped with a unique six-speed manual gearbox, with ratios closer together to give more strength to the SUV. Furthermore, the model comes sump guard (which should be standard on all versions, given the characteristics of the car ) and the roof rack with crossbars. The tires are the same versions of FreeStyle 4 Ã— 2, measures 205/60 R16 and the tread mixed (asphalt / dirt).
Last but not least, the 4WD Eco also provides a multi-link independent rear suspension (in place of shaft torque of the 4 Ã— 2), with a stabilizer bar. In front stabilizer bar was thicker. In theory, these changes make the car better in comfort and behavior. Time to throw it on the ground.
How to walk?
The short path test drive was sponsored by Ford around off-road obstacles with light. This means that, despite the AWD, the Echo was not made for heavy tracks – it has not reduced. The idea is to have a little more courage to face the road site on a rainy day, not much else. At the start of the tour, the first impression comes from suspensions. In versions 4 Ã— 2 with hit firm, the jeep is a little rough on floors pockmarked. For the 4WD seemed far more smooth and comfortable, absorbing the impact with much more competence even when we abuse the speed with which we passed by erosion. The question is how it will be stability on asphalt, but has everything to be the best version in terms of dynamics.
The drive system 4 Ã— 4 showed efficiency in small patches of mud and uprooted in uphill situations where clear notice was pulling the rear wheels. On the slopes, in fact, the wizard starting ramp (which keeps the brakes actuated by a few seconds) showed its value while holding the car “enchÃamos” the engine out. We made the script off-road button with and without 4WD engaged, and not notice the difference. But it’s good to be cautious because some sufficed cars of the train passed through the mud to the floor was getting more degraded, until one of the cars jammed. Without reduced out of trouble, Eco had to be pulled by a Ranger 4 Ã— 4 – yes this really off-road. The ground clearance of 20 inches, is the same versions of the 4 Ã— 2.
What changes as well, and for worse, is the weight: the 4WD Eco accuses nothing less than 1404 kg on the scale (against 1275 kg of FreeStyle 2.0 4 Ã— 2). The result is that the 2.0 16V engine suffers on the climbs with the car loaded. With three people aboard and air conditioning on, the car could not take up the hills in second gear, first asking for reduction. Even with the shorter exchange ratio six-speed, the model is the feeling of being too heavy for the engine, at least in off-road conditions. Performance evaluation will be done on the asphalt in the future, but, as a parameter, Ford indicates 0 to 100 km / h in 10.9 seconds.
Available in single version, FreeStyle, Eco 4 Ã— 4 comes standard equipped enough. Among the most important items stand out the electric power steering (which does not pass the obstacles to track the driver ), the traction and stability controls and entertainment system Sync. The price of R $ 66,090 is just above the main rival Duster 4 Ã— 4, but with the advantage of bringing the electronic resources that do not exist in Renault. The only Ford are optional side airbags and leather jacket, for R $ 3,700 extra.
Imprint – Ford EcoSport FreeStyle 4WDÂ
Engine:Â Front, transverse four cylinder, 1999 cm3, 16-valve, flex,Â Power:Â 141/147 hp at 6,250 rpmÂ Torque:Â 18.9 / 19.7 lb.-ft. at 4,250 rpmÂ Transmission:Â six-speed manual gearbox, traction 4 Ã— 4 permanent;Â Direction:Â electrical;Â Suspension:Â Independent Mac Pherson front and multi-link rear;Â Brakes:Â disc front and drum rear, with ABS;Â Weight:Â 1404 kg;Â Briefcase bags:Â 362 liters;Dimensions:Â length 4.241 mm, width 1.760 mm, height 1.696 mm, 2.521 mm wheelbase;Acceleration 0-100 km / h:Â 10.9 sec with ethanol;Â Consumption:Â City 6.2 km \ l with ethanol and 9, 1 km \ l on petrol, road 7.4 km \ l with ethanol and 10.9 km \ l on petrol