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Old 30th July 2010, 19:25   #1
v12
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Default Toyota Fortuner Boot Camp

Toyota Kirloskar Motors together with Autocar held a Toyota Fortuner Boot Camp over the weekend at AutoMission Rally School, Khopoli. The Fortuner has been a success since its launch last year. However very few Fortuner owners were aware of the 4WD capabilities of their machines. This was my 2nd experience on such an off-roading event - the first being the Ford Endeavor one at Bandra Kurla Complex when it was launched. The track was designed to have all the possible situations anyone would come across while off-roading - steep inclines, descents, slush, deep water and some articulation etc.

The event started off with everyone getting a drive around the track followed by a briefing on the Fortuner and its specifications followed by the basic 4x4 techniques to be used around the track. Post-briefing we were given to experience the 3km track under the guidance of the experts. Here are some pics of the event. I couldnt manage a lot of pics due to the heavy rains and due to being thrown about around the track.

The track was well laid and prepared and would be a blast for Fortuner owners to actually know the capability of their vehicle. The track had all sort of terrain - steep incline, descent, hurdles, slush, water etc. Although there were stretches where you could shift into 3rd/4th and rip, but you would need to know the track properly before doing so. As it so happened, I did go pretty fast at one stretch and bottomed the Fortuner (Sorry, I know it was pretty bad).

The Drive as a passenger:
The drive started off with Allan taking us around the track in the gray Fortuner. It started off with a bit of slush, followed by some hurdles and articilation. The track then transformed into a stretch of water filled ditches followed by a U-turn which led to a steep incline/descent. The Fortuner took all these hurdles very easily in 2/3rd gear and 4L. I wanted to take some pics of the track, but due to rains and being thrown around the car, it was difficult to do so.

The Drive at the wheel :
This was the first time I was driving a Fortuner and that too around an off-road track. My guide was Kunal (or Karthick) from Autocar. He advised me at the very beginning to stay on 2nd gear and 4L (3rd on a stretch) . The track was 3kms long and I was in no hurry to go round it, since it was my first time and I am a complete newbie to off-roading.

We started off on the track and soon reached what I would call "the end of the road". The road ended and I was staring at a mini lake in the form of a U and all I could see the track continuing on the other side. I had only seen such a hurdle during the floods and was not sure that the Fortuner would cross it with me behind the wheel. I was told to keep the revs building and not slow down since it would stall the car. While we entered the pond I realised that the water came upto grille height and I was prepared for the car to stall. But Karthick (or Kunal) told me to step up on the pedal and go through it. The Fortuner did this with ease in 2nd/4L and finally we crossed the lake and were back on track. It was really exciting to get the car back on track when it started wriggling out of control in the slush.

After that we hit a straight patch and unaware of what was ahead, I shifted to 3rd and sped up. Only when the car hit 2 ditches and "bottomed" it, I realised that it was quite bad (which was also confirmed by Kunal/Karthick). Scared of damaging the Fortuner, I slowed down and went with ease around the rest of the track. I did use the brakes a couple of times around corners did not feel the spongyness which were reported in the Test Drives.

The best part of the track for me was climbing the incline and getting down the descent. We were informed that the inclide was steeper on the day before the event but had to be levelled a bit so as not to scare the passengers. Nevertheless it was a steep incline and the Fortuner easily crawled through it.

By the time I left, I saw around 15-20 Fortuners outside the tent and these were definitely owner cars. It was good to see people coming to take part in such an event. A weekday + heavy rains + fear of driving their 22 lakh vehicle across unchartered territories did not deter them from participating. Its obvious that most Fortuner owners would never face such a situation in Mumbai, but it feels good to know now that their vehicle is capable of handling such roads and obstacles.

The briefing area
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The Landcruiser and Prado on display.
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A few pics of the track.
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Dont let the clean look fool you. These Fortuners got completely mucky after a few rounds.
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Mr Sandeep Singh, DMD (Marketing) - TKM Ltd speaking about the Fortuner and its specifications.
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Allan explaining the techniques to be used to drive around the track.
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Last edited by v12 : 30th July 2010 at 20:58.
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Old 1st August 2010, 10:12   #2
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Boy, slush at its best (or should that be "worst")!

Lucky you, sounds like you had good fun!
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Old 1st August 2010, 18:47   #3
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Toyota learns a lesson from the mahindra great escape and let's it s customers reAlize the potential of the gentle giant s . The best wanna remain the same and hence they even need marketing stratagies . The japenese always take lesson from what can improve their already hit product !!! TQM copuled with marketing strategies here comes Toyota !!!
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Old 2nd August 2010, 10:19   #4
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From the pictures it seems to me that they have not tested the fortuner completely. It's an excellent and superbly performing car, better than all 4x4 up to it's price range, the only thing limiting is its LWB.

I guess lifting it up and downshifting to 16" to get more high profile tires would do extremly well for this vehicle to go on offroad.
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Old 4th August 2010, 17:43   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhandle View Post
I guess lifting it up and downshifting to 16" to get more high profile tires would do extremly well for this vehicle to go on offroad.
Dont you think they are wasting the vehicle's potential by making it a FULLTIME 4wd.

Good Marketing by the TKML guys
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Old 4th August 2010, 19:13   #6
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I am wondering why would there be need to asphalt the offroad trail, when you have high performing offroader.
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Old 4th August 2010, 21:55   #7
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How do people drive their 22L monster into these slush.Anyways looks like a tough terrain .I have dont this in chennai in Endy in 2004 (i guess) but that was a small circuit near nehru stadium
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Old 5th August 2010, 16:22   #8
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This is simply amazing, seems the perfect weather also for the 4x4 experience. The rains making it more enjoyable
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Old 5th August 2010, 22:21   #9
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courtesy
www.toyota-fortuner.co.in/bootcamp
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Old 6th August 2010, 00:48   #10
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This sounds such a cool event. True, most offroader owners wouldn't actually take it offroad, so this was a nice opportunity. Good to hear that quite a few turned up for it. Must've been fun
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Old 6th August 2010, 09:57   #11
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Allan, Great action pictures.
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Old 6th August 2010, 10:26   #12
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Wow those were some nice pics showing the capabilities of the Fortuner. One question, with the water in the pond going over the bonnet, how come the water was not sucked into the engine ? I don't think any vehicle is fitted with a snorkel.

Nice thread !


Cheers
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Old 6th August 2010, 11:52   #13
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Ricky it seems the pont was not deep but driver was too fast so water just splashed over.

I think this could have been crossed in crawlling and water wouldnt have reached bonnet level for sure.

Allan correct me if i am wrong.

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Old 6th July 2011, 14:40   #14
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Default Re: Toyota Fortuner Boot Camp

Does anybody know if the same event will again be held in 2011 at mumbai ??

How does one enroll for such a event ?
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Old 11th July 2011, 18:19   #15
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Default Re: Toyota Fortuner Boot Camp

I have got a call from Toyota today stating that there is an off-roading event being held on the 30th and the 31st of July. I was getting into a meeting so could not get all the details, but briefly what he stated was that it will be held near Lonavala, Will be on the 30th and the 31st of July, There are two slots 8AM and 11AM. I asked him to email me all the details. Once I receive the same I will update here. Has anyone else received any info on this, please update!
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