Last weekend I got an invite to go Dune bashing in Jaisalmer with the 2020 Endeavour from Ford India. Jaisalmer also called “The Golden City” stands on a ridge of yellowish substance and is crowned by the ancient Jaisalmer Fort. This town lies in the heart of the Thar Desert in Rajasthan.The drive from the airport to the Jaisalmer Marriot was just a little under 30 minutes. Roads in Rajasthan are without a doubt amongst the best in the country. As we entered the compound of the Jaisalmer Marriot one spotted the 2020 Ford Endeavour, an SUV that has a huge fan base in India.
The 2020 Endeavour has been updated to meet the BSVI norms coming into effect in April 2020. The first thing visible as you walk towards the front of the Endeavour is the all new full LED headlamp cluster. They offer a wider and longer throw over the previous model. One sees a larger chrome laden grille which works perfectly well with the diffused silver paint scheme of the Endeavour we were driving.The Endeavour has always been known for clean lines running across with an upright high stance. These changes while enhancing the appeal add to the timeless design of this SUV.
Under the hood one gets a 2.0 litre Ecoblue turbocharged diesel engine which is BSVI compliant. This engine is more fuel-efficient, with reduced emissions. The Ecoblue engine continues the legacy of Endeavour’s benchmark fun-to-drive credentials, delivering 170 PS peak power and 420 Nm peak torque.Now it was time to experience first-hand the sheer refinement and power this 2020 Ford Endeavour had to offer on our drive to Sam’s Dunes in Jaisalmer. For the 1st 50 odd kilometres of our drive we were driving on flat straight roads. The Endeavour is quick of the blocks and before you know it are already touching triple digit speeds. The 2020 Endeavour comes with the world’s first 10 speed torque convertor. The transmission is extremely intuitive, upshifts and downshifts happen very smoothly.Ford offers a function called Select Shift that makes it possible to skip through gears while accelerating or braking ensuring there’s enough power on tap available to the driver. This gearbox also helps in improving fuel efficiency significantly. There’s also a sport mode on offer that helps in holding on the revs for longer.
The handling and suspension of this car has always been top notch. This new update still sees the Endeavour handle all sorts of road surfaces and conditions with ease. The Endeavour is known for its sharp handling, which is evident when you throw into corners, while doing quick lane changes. The Endeavour also comes with the Ford Pass suite of connected car features across the whole Endeavour range.Now it was time to get off the tarmac and go off roading in Sam’s Dunes. Sam’s Dunes is one of the most authentic desert dune sites in India, where one will find 30 to 60 meter tall sand dunes. This was the perfect location to enjoy everything that the Endeavour had to offer. After a quick 5-minute presentation by Kapil Sharma, Director Communications Ford India, we were ready to go. There was an instructor sitting with me to help with the experience of dune bashing.Dune bashing basically means driving at increasing and decreasing speeds over sand dunes. As the surface of the sand keeps shifting, it takes a special skill and SUV like an Endeavour to navigate this terrain. The first 5 minutes went off smoothly over relatively smaller dunes. Now it was time for the real fun to start. This was also when the instructor explained how the Select shift function on this 10-speed gearbox helps to enhance the off roading experience even further on the Endeavour. The Select shift function allows you to lock in a range of ratios so one doesn’t shift beyond that. This helps in maximising the effectiveness of the Sand mode in the terrain response system, making sure the vehicle doesn’t lose momentum. This is an important aspect of making progress in the sand.
The experience of going down crazy inclines and drops, followed by accelerating full tilt while climbing up was exhilarating… But for the Endeavour this was like just another day in the office.The Endeavour has always been a fantastic SUV with over 60000 customers down the years. In the last year, the Endeavour has racked up impressive numbers which is fantastic, considering the overall industry slowdown.
The 2020 Endeavour prices start at Rs 29.55 lakh for the Titanium 4×2 version and Rs 33.35 lakhs for the Titanium+ 4×4 version. All prices are ex-showroom.