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Ford Wins Award Double For Vehicle Dynamics; Jury Praises Signature Steering And Sharp Handling Across Range

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COLOGNE, GERMANY – May 2, 2013: Ford has won two awards for vehicle dynamics at the 2013 Vehicle Dynamics International (VDI) Awards: the Dynamics Team of the Year and Dynamicist of the Year.

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 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.”

Jurors said of Put:

  • “Team RS has always managed to give very dynamic behaviour and driving pleasure to mass production cars. With the latest products, they have proven this once again,” Lorenzo Facchinetti, Auto, Italy
  • “It seems that David Put has nailed it with the Focus ST. Soft enough for a day-to-day ride, the damping can cope with high speed driving on bumpy roads while the balance of the car appears very enjoyable,” Yves Maroselli, Le Figaro, France

    Jurors said of the team:

  • “Ford still seems to be working harder than other OEMs to ensure their vehicle dynamics performance stands out in all segments,” John Heider, principal Cayman Dynamics and VDI columnist, U.S.
  • “If you have not driven a new Ford in the last year, go do so now. The vehicle dynamicists have apparently been turned loose and allowed to run amok, resulting in cars that are subtle, responsive, and an absolute pleasure to drive,” Phil Morse, dynamicist and writer, U.S.

    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 the UK 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.”