Ford Details SYNC2 Infotainment System Ahead Of Late 2014 Debut Photo:
Tony O'Kane | Aug, 22 2014 | 2 Comments

Ford has given Australian media a sneak peek at the SYNC2 infotainment system due to be rolled out across its models, beginning later this year.

And compared to the existing SYNC software and hardware currently in use in the Focus, Fiesta, EcoSport, Kuga and Transit Custom, it features enhanced connectivity, a greater list of capabilities and a more usable interface.

The system is centred around an eight-inch colour touchscreen, largely reminiscent of higher-end infotainment packages like BMW's iDrive and Audi's MMI, and its list of functions is impressive.

Its appearance is mostly identical to that of the MyFord Touch display that's been offered in the USA since 2013, with the home screen separated into four quadrants, each displaying data from the navigation, climate control, phone and audio systems

And while you can control it via the touchscreen, Ford reckons the most useful interface will be the voice command button.

Pressing it allows everything from the climate control temperature, to the navigation destination, to the genre of music being played to be controlled, and the speech recognition system has been specifically tuned for Australian accents.

SYNC2 can recognise around 10,000 unique voice commands, and the system itself also talks back with an Australian accent - which iPhone users will recognise as being the voice of Siri.

The existing SYNC system has similar functionality, but without SYNC 2's larger screen and with fewer voice commands.

SYNC 2 also brings the ability to interpret less-specific voice commands, like "find a restaurant", and "take me to a petrol station". Feel a little chilly? Just say "warmer" and SYNC 2 will adjust the climate control accordingly.

It's all designed to be more intuitive and easier to use, and Ford Australia President Bob Graziano is confident it's a feature that Australian drivers will value.

"SYNC2 brings a new level of sophistication to voice control, allowing drivers to keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel," he said.

So what will get the SYNC2 system? Ford Australia states that the technology will "first hit Australian roads later this year", which can only mean that the updated Falcon and Territory range will be the first local recipients.

And with the SYNC2 system being demonstrated to journalists on an electronic test rig using the Falcon/Territory's electrical architecture (pictured above), the conclusion is obvious - both will be available with the high-end infotainment package.

The new Mondeo is likely the next in line, and will arrive sometime in the first half of 2015 with the updated Focus to follow it. Ford is also expected to debut the new Everest SUV ("concept" above) alongside an updated Ranger next year, and all could well feature SYNC2.

Next year's Mustang coupe and convertible is also highly likely to feature the latest iteration of SYNC.

The Fiesta is also available overseas with the 8.0-inch display, though a local update is not anticipated in the near future.

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