The Ford C-Max & Escape at SIA. Photo © 2013 by Don Bain

Ford shows it knows snow by partnering with 2013 SIA trade show

As the SnowSports Industries America (SIA) trade show opened in Denver yesterday, Ford fielded a large exhibit to show it knows snow.

Ford is the official partner for the 2013 SIA Snow Show and Snow Fashion & Trends Show to highlight the Ford lineup’s ability to bring dependable transportation to skiers and snowboarders nationwide to navigate snow-covered and icy mountain roads.

“The activities and business of snow sports are interrelated with many other industries, especially the auto industry. We need reliable vehicles to get to the slopes,” said David Ingemie, President of SIA. “Ford manufactures outstanding cars that make it comfortable and easy to recreate in the snow.”

Ford is hosting the Ford Experience Tour at the SIA Snow Show, with the latest Ford vehicles and technology, decked out with roof mounted ski racks and storage units.

The trade show is not open to the public, but over 28,000 industry professionals will be able to see and sit in the vehicles on display and enter drawings to win prizes, including any new Ford vehicle worth up to $30,000.

Attendees can win the grand prize by guessing how many blue Ford ovals are in a display case. Our guess was 12,432, but there are probably more than that.

“Snow sports participants are some of our key customers,” stated Travis Calhoun, West Market Area Marketing Development Manager, Ford Motor Company. “They take full advantage of Ford cars and trucks, designed to haul gear and drive safely through every type of weather. Ford is very excited for the opportunity to connect with the snow sports industry at the Snow Show and share more about quality, green, safe and smart Ford vehicles.”

All the cars in the display feature electronic traction and stability control and all are available with all-wheel-drive, including the 47-mpg C-Max.

“MyFord Touch can help skiers and boarders get to and from the slopes with real time traffic and weather updates,” added Paul Witt, a spokesman for the brand. “Plus turn-by-turn navigation and hands free control of your phone and music, so you can keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.”

The Ford C-Max and Escape models are great for young families providing lots of versatility, utility and room for gear. The 188-horsepower of the C-Max hybrid or the available EcoBoost in the Escape assure you'll have plenty of power to get up to the slopes.

“The 47-mpg of the C-Max is another great benefit, especially if you're a family on a budget or a group of friends who are all chipping in for the gas to the slopes,” Witt said. “Even the fusion offers the best of both worlds with great styling for the city streets, available all-wheel drive for the snowy roads and EcoBoost engines for shooting up Vail pass with a full load.”

Ford’s proprietary Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive on the Escape proves two heads are better than one when it comes to navigating snow and ice.
The system uses advanced software and sensors to gather data from 25 external signals, including wheel speed, accelerator pedal position and steering wheel angle, to provide outstanding performance in both wet and dry conditions with excellent off-road traction to boot.

The sure-footed system can even tell when one wheel is on ice and another is on pavement, routing up to 100 percent of drive torque to where it will do the most good.

“This is a very robust system, tested and tuned around the world in many conditions,” said Joe Torres, senior engineer, all-wheel-drive system development.

The brain of the system computes and appropriately reassesses conditions 20 times faster than the blink of an eye (about 0.33 seconds), to deliver a crisp blend of handling and traction. Torque Vectoring Control and Curve Control, available together for the first time in the all-new Ford Escape, enhance confidence driving through turns.

Pre-emptively splitting powertrain torque between the front and rear axles offers several benefits to the driver. First, by transferring power, when a driver corners hard, the vehicle will follow the intended steering path more accurately. For example, if understeering or going too straight when cornering, the system will send more torque to the rear wheels to counteract the effect and provide more neutral steering.

Second, and new to this all-new SUV, are feedback sensors and software that use the driver’s steering angle to compute where the driver wants to go and make the appropriate drive split.

The advanced computer uses all the inputs from its array of sensors and data, including lateral acceleration, driver-demanded torque and steering angle, and processes the information to get the vehicle moving the intended direction. The system utilizes an electromagnetic clutch to implement pre-emptive actions by adding and subtracting torque, as needed every 16 milliseconds.

The driver can even see the system thinking, at least the resulting power distribution, displayed on a screen inside the gauge cluster.

During development the system underwent rigorous testing from the mountains of New Zealand to the California desert, including snow-covered highways, long mountain passes, extended hill climbs and high-temperature, off-road environments.

What we learned at the SnowSports Industry America show is that Ford indeed does know snow, and is as happy frolicking in the frosty stuff as millions of skiers, snowboarders, snowshoers, and snowmobilers across the country.

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I thought my 2013 C-MAX would be a Prius Killer? NOT!!! As a cross over buyer I feel deceived. I want to support US companies and US jobs. What was Ford thinking when they published 47/ 47/47 estimates? I would have been ok with low 40's but l28-33 is not even in the ballpark. I have been accused of not knowing how to drive hybrid. I lease both a 2010 Prius and 2010 Honda Insight and consider myself an experienced hyper-miler. My mileage in the Prius is 50 Plus, the Insight is 40 plus, The C-MAX is a great car, with extremely inflated EPA posted estimates.