Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

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.

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