- Ford SA has entered the latest Ranger XLT Double Cab, equipped with the new-generation 2.0 Single Turbo engine and advanced 10-speed automatic transmission
- Frugal Ford Kuga 1.5 TDCi competes in increasingly popular SUV category
- Event runs from 12 to 16 November 2019, and covers approximately 2 500km
Ford South Africa is fielding two official entries, including the new Ford Ranger 2.0 Single Turbo equipped with the high-tech 10-speed automatic transmission, in the inaugural WesBank Fuel Economy Tour in partnership with FNB.
Encompassing a five-day route set to cover approximately 2 500km, this event is designed to test the fuel efficiency of a wide range of competitor vehicles, from passenger cars to sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pickups. The fleet of 40 competitor vehicles depart from the WesBank and FNB head office in Fairlands, Johannesburg, on 12 November, and travel via Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth and George, ultimately finishing in Cape Town on 16 November.
"Fuel economy is top of mind for motorists with the price of petrol and diesel reaching record levels, and consumers being stretched financially due to the rapidly increasing cost of living," says Doreen Mashinini, General Manager Marketing at Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa. "Accordingly, this event is perfectly timed to place the real-world fuel consumption of the latest models under scrutiny."
Competing in the Class D1 pickup category for Double Cab models under 2 500 cc, the latest-generation Ford Ranger 2.0 SiT XLT 4x2 is expected to be a formidable contender. It is powered by the advanced new 2.0-litre single-turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine, which produces 132kW of power and a substantial 420Nm of torque. Mated to the cutting-edge 10-speed automatic transmission, it delivers optimal performance due to the wide range of gear ratios, and achieves exceptional fuel efficiency.
"The all-new 2.0 SiT engine and sophisticated 10-speed automatic transmission in the New Ranger is an exceptional combination that delivers impressive fuel economy, whether driving in town or on the open road, and we expect it to do well despite being the only automatic model in its class on this event," Mashinini states.
The Ford Ranger will be driven by seasoned motoring journalist and former Total Economy Run class winner, Colin Mileman. He is partnered with experienced rally and cross country racing navigator, Henry Köhne.
Ford's second entry is the Kuga 1.5 TDCi Trend which will compete in Class C1 for turbodiesel-powered SUVs with engine capacities ranging from 1 300 to 2000 cc. Equipped with a six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive, the Kuga features a frugal yet punchy 1.5-litre Duratorq TDCi engine with peak outputs of 88kW and 270Nm.
"The Kuga 1.5 TDCi is well established as an upmarket and refined sport utility vehicle that is light on fuel, but delivers sprightly performance matched to superb comfort and versatility," Mashinini says. "With the rapid growth in the SUV segment, the Kuga remains a very compelling package."
Damian Adams, assistant editor of MOTOR Magazine, will be behind the wheel of the Kuga. Alongside him is motorsport veteran Dave McGregor who, most notably, claimed the 1998 SA rally championship navigating for legendary driver Hannes Grobler. McGregor also navigated for Kassie Coetzee, Koos Roos and Gugu Zulu. He was the MD of the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit for two decades, and also competed in numerous Total Economy Run events over the years.
Along with the two official Ford entries, the MOTUS dealer group Media Team has entered a Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost, crewed by Lerato Matebese, editor of Driven Magazine, and co-driver Deon van der Walt.
Aside from providing the platform to compare the outright fuel consumption of vehicles on the WesBank Fuel Economy Tour, this event will also demonstrate how driving style has a significant influence on fuel economy and overall running costs. By adopting a conservative driving style and planning ahead, motorists can save significant fuel and cut running costs - key elements that form part of Ford's innovative and free Driving Skills for Life driver training programme.