Ford has won two important technology awards at the 2013 Vehicle Dynamics International (VDI ) Awards. The 29 man global jury praised signature steering and sharp handling across the range when handing Ford the Dynamics Team of the Year and Dynamicist of the Year awards.
The Ford vehicle dynamics department won for the development of Ford vehicles including the new B-MAX, all-new Kuga, Focus ST, and new Fiesta ST. Ford Team RS vehicle dynamics specialist David Put - the star of The Ford Fiesta ST versus legendary Lommel Track 7 video - won for his work on the Focus ST and new Fiesta ST.
The jury of automotive journalists (including Padraic Deane representing Ireland ) from around the world hailed the team’s work “stand-out in all segments”, with vehicles that are “subtle, responsive, and an absolute pleasure to drive”, and Put’s contribution as offering “signature steering feel and precision”.
The awards recognise the best ideas, technology innovation, and achievements in vehicle dynamics development. Readers of Vehicle Dynamic International and the publication’s editorial team provided the nominations in advance of final judging.
“Ford has put ride and handling at the heart of vehicle development for many years now, regardless of whether the car is a practical MPV or a desirable hot-hatch,” said Graham Heeps, editor, Vehicle Dynamics International. “Our jury now includes journalists from 19 countries; their votes prove Ford is reaping the benefit of this approach in markets right around the world.”
Ford is committed to delivering vehicles with high levels of ride quality that are also fun and rewarding to drive as part of the company’s global DNA; and is the first manufacturer to twice win each award since they were launched in 2008.
“At Ford, we place driving dynamics at the heart of our vehicle development programmes,” said Raj Nair, group vice president, global product development, Ford. “Awards like these are proof that these efforts have been worthwhile and Ford really does go further to deliver the very best performance feel for our customers. We are very proud of our products and the team for all that they have delivered.”
The new Ford Fiesta ST has recently gone on sale in Europe featuring tuned suspension, steering, and brakes for optimised driving dynamics and enhanced Torque Vectoring Control, which applies brake force to the inside front wheel when cornering to improve road holding and reduce understeer without affecting speed.
“Giving a car the highest possible fun-to-drive factor is both challenging and rewarding,” said Put. “You know you have the formula right when you can’t stop driving a vehicle - and you spend the whole day smiling.”