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6th Dec 2017 6:30 pm
The nine-day Toyota Off-Road Camp held from November 11-19 got pulses racing in Chandigarh. Here’s what happened.
THE KING OF SUVs
Legendary. If you had to describe Toyota SUVs in one word, ‘legendary’ would probably come close. Whether it’s the Land Cruiser, the Land Cruiser Prado or the Fortuner, Toyota makes vehicles that are legendary in terms of quality, reliability, capability and durability. These are vehicles that can be relied on in any situation over any terrain in any weather. They are simply unbreakable.
No surprise then, that Toyota SUVs are some of the most successful and sought-after SUVs on the planet.
Imagine this: a powerful, stylish SUV –usually used to stalk city streets – is thrown into an extremely harsh environment. It has to deal with obstacles like a deep ditch, 40-degree incline, deep water, slush, a side incline and more. These are obstacles that would certainly break a car that wasn’t tough enough; and then this SUV waltzes through them as if they were absolutely nothing. That would be worth experiencing.
Well, people from Chandigarh, Ambala, Ludhiana, Mohali, Shimla and Rajpura certainly thought so. They came down to the Huda Grounds at Panchkula to participate in the Toyota Off-Road Camp. The star of the show was obviously the Toyota Fortuner.
There’s no denying the presence of the Toyota Fortuner. It has always been the SUV of choice for Indians. The Fortuner is available with a choice of two powerful engines – a 166hp, 2.7-litre, four-cylinder, petrol engine with a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission, or a 177hp, 2.8-litre, four-cylinder, diesel engine paired with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The engine even has three drive modes — Power, Economy and the default Normal mode.
The Fortuner comes with the advanced Sigma 4 system which gives the Fortuner its go-anywhere capability. It features an Active Traction Control (A-TRC) system that offers Limited Slip Differential (LSD). It also has Hill Assist Control (HAC) Downhill Assist Control (DAC) and electronic drive control with three switchable modes – 2WD, 4WD High and 4WD Low. These three modes allow the driver to choose a mode depending on the terrain the car will handle.
The event was set up to offer participants an authentic off-road experience. All guests were taken around the track in the Fortuner with an expert driver behind the wheel. The obstacles they would need to tackle were formidable and – for the uninitiated – very intimidating. The first element faced was acceleration and off-road braking. This would showcase the Fortuner’s performance and control over a surface where cars are usually not driven. Next was the deep ditch. Here, drivers would engage the Downhill Assist Control (DAC) feature that allowed the Fortuner to make a controlled descent without manually applying the brakes. Its powerful engine would propel it out of the ditch with minimal effort. This obstacle was followed by the intimidating big mound. The Fortuner would crawl up the steep incline and then brought to a stop. The Hill Assist Control (HAC) would help move the car forward without the need to move quickly between the brake and accelerator. The Fortuner would then proceed to drive over chicken holes and rumblers to showcase its stability and control over uneven surfaces. The next challenge was articulation where the SUV maintained perfect control thanks to Sigma 4’s LSD performance. This led to the side incline, followed by the water trap. It is unnerving to drive through deep water, but with due credit to the Fortuner, it made this look very easy. Lastly, sideways action was tested in the slush pit, followed by the final crunchy-sounding gravel pit that showcased the Fortuner’s tractioncontrol performance.
After being taken through each obstacle, many participants chose to take the wheel under the guidance of expert drivers. Each of them made it through, without incident.
Here’s what some of our participants had to say:
My overall experience was amazing. I’ve never driven off-road before. The entire setup was amazing and the whole process was smooth. The staff was very friendly and explained all the features of the car well. I loved the deep ditch and going downhill without touching the brakes. It was the best thing for me. It’s a very good car! I’ve recommended this event to my friends and will be returning with my father. He loves Toyotas!
It was a sheer thrill. This was my first off-road session. I have an Innova Crysta but would love to change to a Fortuner and take it to the Himalayas. My family and I fell in love with its features and also with the sheer bulk of the car. This is the first time we saw features like Hill Assist Control and DAC in any car. I loved the side incline test. It felt like I’d roll over – but we didn’t! My kids also understood the importance of seat belts.
Commenting on the event, Mr. N Raja, Director and Senior Vice President (Sales and Marketing), Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd said, “Ever since its launch in November, last year, the all-new Fortuner has enjoyed phenomenal response. It’s extremely gratifying when we see customers of this cult SUV taking immense pride in owning the vehicle. The Fortuner commands this admiration because of its impressive off-road capabilities and equally striking style and confidence on city roads, making it a complete vehicle with an impressive character. As a matter of fact, the USP of all our SUVs have been their unmatched off-roading capabilities which makes Toyota ‘the King of SUVs’.
Chandigarh has been a key market for Fortuner and the Toyota Off-road Camp has given us an opportunity to bring the city’s preferred SUV closer than ever before. We wanted our existing and potential customers to experience the off-roading capabilities of the new Fortuner in a terrain specially designed with steep inclines and descents, slush and deep water. We are certain the New Fortuner will continue to delight both existing customers and new customers alike,” continued Mr. N Raja.