Jensen FF

From Academic Kids

The Jensen FF (Ferguson Formula) was an all wheel drive GT car produced by the British manufacturer Jensen between 1966 and 1971. It was the first production road car equipped with all wheel drive, and the first equipped with an antilock braking system, the Dunlop Maxaret electro-mechanical system used hitherto only on aircraft.

Although it was a highly influential vehicle in a technical sense, the FF was not all that commercially successful. Its price was high—about three times that of the Jensen Interceptor, its similar-looking rear wheel drive stablemate, and more than that of luxury GTs from much more prestigious makes. Adding to that, its technologically advanced design had not been refined as much as it might have, especially in early production; the FF soon developed a reputation as troublesome. This was not helped by unfamiliarity with the nature of an ABS system; the characteristic 'juddering' of the brakes under heavy braking as the system keeps them from locking up was an unfamiliar one in 1966, and many owners considered it disconcerting if not worse.

Unfortunately, the other FF problem was one of design, and not one easily cured. The system was set up for a driver in the right hand seat, and no considerations had been made to making it convertible to left-hand drive. In particular, the central transfer case and both propeller shafts protruded into the left-hand seat space. The steering gear and brake servo were fitted on the right-hand side and there was no space for them on the left. By the early 1970s, Jensen's primary markets were overseas (particularly the United States), and the FF could not be sold there.

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