Redesigned New-Generation Ford Expedition Tackles Extreme Middle East Driving Conditions
Ford engineers tested the new Expedition SUV in the sweltering heat of the Dubai desert.
To make its mark in the Middle Eastern automobile markets, Ford tests its vehicles to the limit and ensures they pass all safety and performance benchmarks. With the new-generation Ford Expedition, the U.S based company has made special efforts. Last year in July, Ford engineers tested the new-generation Ford Expedition SUV in the sweltering heat of the Dubai desert with temperatures touching the 50C mark to ensure the vehicle survives the extreme heat on a daily basis while running on roads.
Expedition Chief Program Engineer, Todd Hoevener said, “In-market testing is to confirm the work we’ve done, and fine-tune the product before it’s introduced. Our standards within Ford account for extreme conditions, so we developed this vehicle for global use. But it is very important to test in the market, not only here but in other parts of the world, for final confirmation.”
Although the Expedition SUV is the same for all markets, it has to meet certain challenging expectations in the Middle Eastern countries since customers in the region are more likely to take their SUV off-road into the desert.
“Even though we simulate these temperatures in our labs and at our Arizona proving ground, this is a unique combination of both deep sand – which is very fine, versus the coarse sand we have in the States – as well as high temperatures. In addition, high winds with sand blowing really test the car’s ability to handle sand ingestion,” he adds.
The upcoming generation of the Expedition is a very spacious SUV that can host 8 passengers with ease. To power the vehicle, a 3.5-liter dual-turbocharged EcoBoost engine has been installed that makes 400 hp and 650Nm of torque. The engine is aided by a 10-speed gearbox that gives power to all the wheels. To assist with off-roading especially in the Middle Eastern conditions, the Expedition has Terrain Management System (TMS) which enhances power while cruising on soft sand.
“The off-road modes are designed to help drivers navigate conditions they may not be familiar with – like sand,” Hoevener explained. “What’s the worst thing that can happen to you as a driver when you’ve got your family and friends in the car? Getting stuck. Sand mode, if you’re not as skilled, just makes it enjoyable to drive – and you have that safety net of having the vehicle electronics there to help.”
The new-generation Ford Expedition will speak volumes of Ford’s engineering team as it goes on sale here.