“We wish our friends the best of luck with their new vehicle”

I had seen the pictures and articles going around last week of the new Ford Explorer and its Traction Management System.  It’s very clear, down to the graphics and terms used, that this was taken right out of the Land Rover engineering/design books.  Ford did make a huge investment in Land Rover, so I do understand why they’d want to try and get as much of a return as possible.  I’m just surprised how obviously they did it – and with no real attribution to Land Rover.  I guess those must really be the best possible design graphics, right down to the curving path of the snow mode.

It turns out Land Rover had something to say about it on their blog with this post from yesterday:

http://blog.interactivelandrover.com/blog.do?id=824&p=entry 

Updated: It looks like they’ve pulled the post from their site – it still exists, but just isn’t displayed in the main list – I’m going to put the original full text at the bottom of this post – maybe Ford wasn’t so happy with it!

The whole story gets better when we find out the Chief Engineer on the Explorer Platform Program, was previously the Chief Engineer for Range Rover.  Anyway, like Land Rover said – good luck to them.

Here are some related pics & vids:

2011-ford-explorer-traction-control-dial

 

From Landrover Blog: http://blog.interactivelandrover.com/blog.do?id=824&p=entry

TERRAIN RESPONSE OR TERRAIN MANAGEMENT – REMEMBER WHERE IT WAS INVENTED

Naturally we’re flattered that our friends at Ford are planning to mimic Land Rover’s award-winning Terrain Response™ system for their upcoming 2011 Ford Explorer, writes Andrew Polsinelli, General Manager of Product Planning, Land Rover North America.

You may have seen a new video that’s making the rounds on YouTube where Todd Hoevener, New Explorer Vehicle Dynamics Manager, is extolling the virtues of the Explorer’s new Terrain Management System.

We would expect the Explorer’s system will work well; after all, Todd’s boss, Jim Holland, the Chief Engineer, Explorer Platform Program, spent three years working at Land Rover in the UK as Chief engineer for Range Rover.

But while appearing to be similar in concept – it’ll give drivers the choice of four settings (normal, mud, snow and sand) to custom-tune the engine and drivetrain to provide maximise traction – it won’t have the six years of sophistication and refinements of Land Rover’s Terrain Response® system.

The Terrain Response fitted to our latest 2010 LR4s, Range Rover Sports and Range Rovers comes with no fewer than five different choices of settings – General for everyday on-road driving; Grass/Gravel/Snow; Mud/Ruts; Sand; and Rock Crawl.

We’ve even added a sixth setting for our latest Range Rover Sport Supercharged – Dynamic Program – which gives the vehicle a more engaging, more driver-focused character.

Terrain Response® also works with full air suspension and low-range gearing that comes standard with LR4, Sport and Range Rover – two key features the new Explorer is not expected to offer.

While we pioneered Terrain Response® in the LR3 back in 2004 – it’s now standard on all Land Rovers sold in the US – we like to say that more than 60 years of Land Rover off-road expertise have gone into its development.

And we’re continuously fine-tuning and enhancing this remarkable system.

Witness the changes we made to the Sand Launch mode for the 10MY vehicles. This enables them to "get up on the plane" easier and faster. It also features an enhanced launch control that gives the engine more "gas" when it senses the driver isn’t using enough throttle to ensure the vehicle punches itself up on top of the sand.

Originally developed for the LR2, we’ve also added Gradient Release control to all 10MY products. Now when a driver crests a hill and releases the brakes so that the standard Hill Descent control can kick in, this new system releases the brakes more slowly and progressively, making the transition into Hill Descent feel seamless.

In closing, we wish our friends the best of luck with their new vehicle.

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