Ford en­ter­snewTer­ri­tory

It has a new look and new en­gine, write Paul Gover and Paul Pottinger

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Onroad -

THE of­fi­cial count­down to the new Ford Ter­ri­tory is un­der way with a pub­lic un­veil­ing of the tweaked Aussie SUV this week.

The bold new look is the first sign of changes that run as deep as an over­due diesel en­gine and ma­jor im­prove­ments to qual­ity, and re­flect spend­ing of $ 232 mil­lion on the pro­ject.

Ford is us­ing a trickle feed for the Ter­ri­tory, which will not be in show­rooms un­til May, re­veal­ing the de­sign work this month, the me­chan­i­cal pack­age in March, and giv­ing jour­nal­ists their first drive in April.

The up­date work on the Ter­ri­tory’s body is aimed at what ex­te­rior de­signer Todd Will­ing calls ‘‘ca­pa­ble so­phis­ti­ca­tion’’, with a de­cid­edly more pre­mium feel than the out­go­ing model.

Most ob­vi­ous is the new front end with trape­zoid-shaped main grille, slim-line head­lights, and the flag­ship Ti­ta­nium — which re­places the Ghia — fit­ted with LED po­si­tion lamps.

At the other end, there are wrap­around lights and a new lift­gate. It rides on 17 or 18in wheels. In­side it’s all soft-touch ma­te­ri­als and cov­ered stor­age bins, as well as a new in­stru­ment panel with an 8in touch screen. What Ford calls the In­te­rior Com­mand Cen­tre pro­vides front-seat oc­cu­pants with con­trols for heat­ing, ven­ti­la­tion and air­con­di­tion­ing.

Fund­ing for the Ter­ri­tory up­date comes partly from the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s Green Car In­no­va­tion Fund, which is to be axed to help pay for Queens­land’s disas­ter re­lief.

It pro­vided a $42 mil­lion green grant for the V6 tur­bod­iesel en­gine that could soon ac­count for up to half of Ter­ri­tory sales. The en­gine was orig­i­nally de­vel­oped for Land Rover in 2004 and runs much leaner and cleaner than the cur­rent petrol six.

The diesel will run in all mod­els from the ba­sic TX to the Ti­ta­nium.

‘‘The new diesel en­gine is one part of the big­ger story,’’ Ford Aus­tralia’s new pres­i­dent, Bob Graziano, says.

‘‘Our new Ter­ri­tory has a new in­te­rior, a new ex­te­rior, new smart tech­nolo­gies and an all-new pow­er­train.’’

He also says Ford has a big up­date pro­gram on its whole line-up in 2011.

‘‘What we will be able to do this year, as we freshen 85 per cent of our show­room, is con­tinue to lever­age the global re­sources and as­sets that we have un­der the One Ford strat­egy.’’

Graziano ex­presses frus­tra­tion that the La­bor Gov­ern­ment broke a prom­ise made in 2008 to sus­tain the green car fund un­til 2020, af­ter com­mit­ments from car­mak­ers.

‘‘We are ob­vi­ously dis­ap­pointed it was with­drawn but we are look­ing for­ward to hav­ing con­tin­u­ing di­a­logue with the Gov­ern­ment,’’ he says.

‘‘It has been im­por­tant in terms of ac­cel­er­at­ing that tech­nol­ogy into Aus­tralia.

‘‘It’s not un­usual in terms of the in­dus­try to have that kind of a fund.

‘‘ I think that part­ner­ship — car­mak­ers, the Gov­ern­ment and the con­sumer — is nec­es­sary not just in Aus­tralia, but also around the world.’’

Slick: (above and left) The new Ford Ter­ri­tory Ti­ta­nium.

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