Ford Test Track – Gator Ford

Gator Ford Test Track

Ask for:
“The Internet Sales Team”
Test Track Reservation Desk

813-530-8366

Want to see how the Ford you’re considering will perform in real-life conditions? Welcome to the Test Track, Gator Ford’s unique creation of a combination of real-life and challenging conditions. We’ll help you truly test drive your truck! When you first drive up to Gator Ford’s impressive Test Track, one of the first things you’ll see is the list of conditions we’ll simulate for you. Drivers will be able to experience curves, a rumble strip, straight away, ramps and hills, quicksand/sand, and bumps.

Test Track Curves

Our Test Track is made up of some core features that better help you get a feel for what your future truck will be capable of. Below are the key features covered on our test track.

#1: Ford Test Track Curves

The first element you’ll encounter on the Gator Ford Test Track is the curve. Here, you’ll feel your truck’s impressive handling ability on sharp curves and rough road conditions. If you use your truck’s app in the instrument panel, you’ll see that, despite the higher angle of the curve (which approaches 40 degrees in some sections), your truck will only experience a maximum roll angle of about 14 degrees. That difference is your torsion bar in action! The torsion bar allows for greater control and handling, even at steep angles.

Test Track Rumble Strip

#2: Rumble Strip

Fun Fact: the Test Track used to have gravel on this strip, but gravel proved tough to maintain in heavy Florida rain. Instead, we now have a rumble strip, which serves a similar purpose for those test-driving their trucks. After you come off the curve, you’ll encounter the rumble strip. The secret of handling a bumpy road like our Rumble Strip is the suspension. The Ford F-150 has independent suspension on the front, using a leaf spring solid axle. Independent suspension on the front means that each wheel reacts independently to the road’s surface, so if the left tire hits a bump you won’t feel the right reaction because there is no solid axle to transfer the force. Therefore, you maintain control as the other tire stays in full contact with the road.

The rear of the F-150 has a solid axle but adds control with outboard-mounted shocks. The outboard shocks help to prevent body lean but, more importantly, they limit rear axle motion (or bounce!). This limited motion helps to smooth out the ride on bumpy surfaces, which you’ll see in action on the Rumble Strip section of the Test Track.

Test Track Straight Away

#3: The Straight Away

After you’ve curved and rumbled your way through the first few sections of the Test Track, you’ll arrive at the Straight Away. Why incorporate a straight section of the road? Some may actually say that the straightaway is the most exciting part of the Test Track. This is where you get to slam on the gas pedal and, once you hit the approach for the ramp/hill, hit the brakes hard! The straightaway highlights the fact that Ford has the best brakes out there. The largest vented brake rotors, with large sweeping calipers, give Ford more overall braking surface.

In addition to the anti-lock brakes (ABS), Ford also incorporates Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), which distributes the brake power to the wheels independently depending on road conditions, speed, and load. You’ll feel all of these innovations at work when the vehicle stops quickly, is still in a straight line, settles without front-end drive, and has no steering wheel bobble.

Test Track Ramp Hill

#4: The Ramp/Hill

Immediately after the excitement of the straight away, you’ll encounter the Ramp/Hill section of the Gator Ford Test Track. A steep incline and decline can show you how your vehicle will perform in these types of demanding conditions. You won’t find many places to have your truck climb and dive in the flat land of Florida, so this is the perfect place to get a taste of your truck’s ability to handle more rugged terrain. In this section, you can also test out the “hill start assist” feature by stopping on the uphill side and seeing how the vehicle stays in place as you move your foot from the brake to the accelerator.

Test Track Sand

#5: Quicksand/Sand

After you’ve tackled the hills, it’s time to take a turn into the “Quicksand Pit”! This loose sand shows off your 4×4 capability. Many Ford 4x4s are equipped with Electronic Shift on the Fly (ESoF), which allows you to use a switch on the dashboard to change your mode. Your options usually include 2WD/4WD High/4WD Low. You may even have 4×4 Auto as well. 4WD Auto senses wheel slippage and automatically shifts into 4×4 High in less than 1/8th of a tire rotation–it’s almost magical how quickly you’ll gain traction again. Take a drive through our sand pit and see if you can tell when the change occurred! Try out all the modes and feel the difference in torque between high and low–but take it slow! Speeds higher than 20mph in 4×4 low mode are not advised.

Test Track Bumps

#6: Bumps

After conquering the sand pit, it’s time to face your last challenge: bumps! This section of the Gator Ford Test Track gives you a chance to experience your vehicle’s quiet ride and control. Ford vehicles use steering dampers, which tames the action of trucks and SUVs with oversized tires. Steering dampers basically keep the vehicle moving straight when it encounters bumps or pits in the road and gets rid of the shimmy that sometimes comes with larger tires. To see what they can do, line the vehicle up straight and drive over the bumps. You’ll feel a little wobble, but you won’t lose control. If you really want to see what the dampers can do, line up the vehicle again and let go of the steering wheel as you roll over the bumps. The Test Track gives you the chance to truly see a Ford in action under challenging circumstances. Come by Gator Ford and take the Test Track on!