EXCLUSIVE FIRST PIX
FORD’S NEW TERRITORY
IT’S the the most eagerly anticipated SUV of 2011 and we’ve caught it out on the road fully exposed. A quick-witted carsGuide reader instantly recognised one of Ford’s new Territorys in a Mildura car park and captured these, the first public images free of obscuring camouflage.
This blue Territory looks production-ready — no black stickers or padded bras — with what looks like 18-inch wheels.
Those rear tail lights have become noticeably more angular, somewhat reminiscent of Subaru’s Forester.
The 2011 Tezza is far more distinctive at the other end. The front has a much larger mouth and there is more prominent use of larger Ford badges.
In all, it looks gratifyingly similar to the dramatic concept drawings Ford released before Christmas, with more striking, distinctive lines, bonnet and lights.
This model doesn’t bear a badge designation, but the exterior bling indicates it is either a Ghia or a new, up-spec version.
The latest Territory will also introduce a long-awaited diesel engine.
The 2.7 V6 twin turbodiesel Ford/PSA engine — previously deployed in models as diverse as the Jaguar XF and Citroen’s C5 — brings to the hitherto thirsty, petrol-only range the low-end torque and economy that increasingly makes diesel the power source of choice for buyers of bigger SUVs.
Emissions will be cut by as much as 25 per cent compared with the venerable, naturally aspirated, inline petrol six, output should be in the vicinity of 150kW and 440Nm.
As sales of diesel SUVs go ever north, it’s just what the two-tonne Australian SUV needs.
Diesel SUV sales increased by more than 50 per cent among private buyers and almost 40 per cent for fleets in 2010— action of which Ford Australia needs to get a piece.
As the Falcon, which underpins the Tezza, falls further from grace, the SUV’s sales of 10,699 units to the beginning of December comprise an ever more important part of the Ford’s total of 88,000 yearto-date.
The Blue Oval’s second-best seller was slightly down in November for the same month in 2009, something the diesel edition is seen as crucial to rectifying.
Ford says the SUV’s new look will include a major interior update and boast a number of technology highlights.
About 85 per cent of the entire Ford Australia new-model catalogue will be replaced or updated in the coming year.
This includes the updated MC Mondeo and newly Thai-sourced WT Fiesta hatch and sedan— both recently launched— and the Territory, Focus, Falcon (with fourcylinder engine and optional liquid-inject LPG) and Ranger ute.
Gotcha: the 2011 Ford Territory snapped in a Mildura car park.