Keep it above 40 and you will be just fine. Get any lower and you will be digging yourself out for the rest of the day!” The sternness in his tone reminded me of Dennis Hopper from the Hollywood flick Speed at that point, but Beeboy Bargas wasn’t playing villain here. As our route instructor for the day, we didn’t have an option but to listen to him carefully. Driving on the river valley that once flowed under Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines, we had a soft river bed that threatened to sink us and the brand new Ford Everest to its axles. After all, Mt Pinatubo had erupted back in 1991, and the pyroclastic flow deposits made it one lairy place to drive.
You could call Ford crazy or rather brave to allow a couple of Indian auto journalists and a nervous instructor to put their new Everests through the ash-filled river bed off Manila, but then they were confident that their product would make it through without as much as a sneeze. This, the new Everest, will be our new Endeavour and yes, I know that you are dying to say it — where has all that macho-ness gone? No, it didn’t take a hike to Machu Picchu or any other peak, but the overall design elements are more in line with Ford’s Kinetic design philosophy. So gone are the butch-looking, rectangular grille and headlamps and in their place are new eyelash-like headlamps and a chrome-laden grille that give it a V-shape. To compensate for this newfound softness, Ford have added a pseudo bull-bar chunk of plastic to their bumper which sort of makes it the kind of car you can still take to your local Gold’s Gym. This new element did create problems with engine cooling, but with the design team and the engine team at Hiroshima going back and forth, it was finally sorted with no change to the design element.
Because this car is designed for ‘Asian sensibilities’, you also get a chrome strip atop the grille with its name emblazoned as a reminder. A new air-vent design on the side flanks takes inspiration from the ‘bullet in a bow wave’ school of thought. The rear tail-lamps have been slightly modified while the wheels you see here are of the 18-inch ‘diamond cut’ variety — we will get 16-inchers in India. New mirrors with turn lamps and a new bumper sum up the raft of exterior changes. Overall there is a higher use of chrome all around, but it still doesn’t give it the kind of raw appeal that made the previous two Endeavours such a hit!