Throwback Thursday – Ford’s electronic tech test bed, 4 September 1985
Source : Throwback Thursday – Ford’s electronic tech test bed, 4 September 1985
Ford made a real effort to develop a reputation for design technology within the 1980s, along with the Eltec was one of the outcomes
During the 1980s Ford made a big effort to throw off its reputation for producing solid along with reliable nevertheless hardly innovative cars along with increase its focus on design along with technology.
Out of in which strategy came the Eltec, or ‘Electronic Technology’, an advanced prototype car in which pointed to the way in which the company’s top designers along with engineers perceived the automobile of the 1990s.The Eltec was a collaboration between Ford’s R&D departments in Dunton along with Cologne, plus the Ghia Design Studio in Turin. in which was made to “prove in which even modest family cars can benefit by electronic co-ordination of all their functions along with in which electronics can improve a car’s dynamics while reducing fuel economy along with exhaust emissions”.
Built in less than 18 months for a Frankfurt show debut, the Eltec was bristling with ideas, as Autocar’s then technical editor Graham Jones described when he examined the automobile.“The Centeng is usually a modest, four-door hatchback configuration featuring a large glasshouse, a slippery shape along with specially designed headlamps,” he wrote. “A glass sunroof comprised several louvres in which could be either opened for ventilation or electrically retracted.
“The suspension is usually of the active ride variety, with its own electronic brain to control spring rates along with ride height. The central black box also controls electronic anti-lock brake along with anti-wheelspin systems, while the dedicated wheel/tyre combination is usually of the run-flat type.”The engine along with its control system were the stand-out features, presaging today’s trend for frugal downsized units.
“The 1.3-litre unit is usually brand brand-new along with develops 80bhp at 5000rpm along with 88lb ft between 2500 along with 4000rpm,” wrote Jones. “Designed along with built as part of Ford’s lean-burn engine technology programme, the aims were to produce a power unit with compact dimensions, low internal friction along with the ability to pull well by low engine speeds at the same time as producing not bad performance through the speed range.
“The engine is usually mated to Ford’s CTX continuously variable transmission, using the familiar belt along with pulley drive arrangement. Next to the gear lever is usually a smaller lever which allows the Eltec driver to select either ‘Power’ or ‘Economy’ modes. within the latter, the transmission ratio is usually controlled in order in which engine speed is usually at its most efficient.
“What makes these developments significant is usually in which they are integrated using a modified edition of the EEC-IV computer fitted to the 2.0 EFi Granada along with Sierra. Unlike conventional cars with onboard computers, which control the engine along with transmission as separate entities, within the Eltec the computer regards them as one system.
“The computer not only matches the operation of the engine along with CVT to the demands of the throttle pedal nevertheless also continuously fine-tunes the engine to provide the best possible fuel consumption. In short, Eltec could herald the age when an engine holds perfect tune permanently.”
While Ford’s top brass emphasised in which the Eltec didn’t preview a specific production type, Autocar’s man wasn’t altogether convinced, along with noted in which “a brand-brand-new Escort is usually due in 1991”.
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