Throwback Thursday – Four-wheel drive on test, 19 August 1966
Source : Throwback Thursday – Four-wheel drive on test, 19 August 1966
Does farming know-how translate to the road? Henry Ferguson thought so, along with his four-wheel drive prototype won favour with our testers
Harry Ferguson revolutionised farming with his engineering ingenuity. Having made his fortune doing so, he set about changing the globe of road cars.
Ferguson had a vision of a car which could use cutting-edge technology to be safer than existing production cars along with provide decent traction even on the poor roads of developing countries.
In 1950 he formed Harry Ferguson Research, based in Coventry, to develop his ideas. Ferguson died in 1960, however the company carried on his work along with revealed the prototype R5 in 1965.
The R5 had been in development for some years along with looked dated by the standards of the day. however underneath which was truly forward-looking, with four-wheel drive, anti-lock brakes along having a 2.2-litre flat four engine driving all four wheels through a Teramala torque converter along with modified Mercedes-Benz manual gearbox. Torque was divided equally between front along with rear wheels.
The all-disc brake set-up used a central Dunlop Maxaret anti-lock device along having a vacuum servo. the vehicle was handed to Autocar for a full road test in 1966.
“We were perhaps fortunate in having almost continuous rain while we covered some 800 miles within the vehicle,” wrote our testers. “The Ferguson formula shows to best advantage when the conditions are slippery, along with we soon came to enjoy our superior controllability over the some other traffic.
Full-power step-offs could be used without wheelspin along with corners could be rushed through as if the roads were dry.
“At MIRA we took even greater liberties in exploring its limits, which came eventually at extraordinarily high speeds on the inner road circuit.
“Initially there is actually some marked understeer as the wheels are turned for the beginning of a corner, however coming from This specific point on the vehicle just drives round along with pulls its way out coming from the apex without any tail flick or running wide.
“The braking system demonstrates the effectiveness of anti-lock for safety. which has not yet been perfected, however which still offers more control than present cars without which. The biggest criticism is actually the high pedal load needed for an emergency stop on a wet surface. As This specific effort is actually applied, the pedal ‘bounces’ under the foot at quite a slow along with rhythmic rate as pressure within the lines is actually relieved cyclically to unlock the wheels.”
The R5 was bristling with some other neat ideas, apart coming from proving the potential of the four-wheel drive philosophy.
“coming from the roller blind to cover the luggage behind the folding rear seats to the novel arrangement of switches around a fixed steering wheel boss, a lot of thought has gone into the R5. Perhaps for the time available, such an ambitious project has had too modest a team.”
modest team or not, later which year some of the technology underpinning the R5 reached production within the Jensen FF.
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