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New Ford Territory unmasked

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New Ford Territory unmasked

Busted: Ford's 2011 Territory, as snapped by Ford Forums' Brendan and Julian.

Ford’s 2011 Territory emerges almost completely undisguised three months early

20 December 2010

By MARTON PETTENDY

FORD’S heavily overhauled 2011 Territory has emerged virtually undisguised at least three months ahead of launch.

Territory_lower.jpg

Snapped by Ford Forums bloggers Brendan and Julian, these scoop images of the Blue Oval’s comprehensively facelifted homegrown SUV have surfaced less than a week after Ford Australia commenced a drip-feed reveal campaign for its crucial new model by revealing a striking official sketch of the new-look mid-size soft-roader.

The four images of a lightly camouflaged petrol-powered pre-production prototype – shot in a suburban Melbourne shopping centre carpark - confirm the upgraded Territory will feature the same bold Audi-like lower grille and triangulated headlights as seen in the sketch.

They also reveal the revised Territory’s hitherto unseen rear-end, which is less dramatically different but will feature a new tail-light design that echoes that of the next-generation Focus small sedan, which goes on sale alongside the all-new Focus hatch in Australia late next year.

Together, the 2011 Territory’s front and rear lighting treatments form a major part of a new worldwide SUV design theme for Ford, which was developed by Ford Australia and will be a progression of the brand’s global ‘Kinetic’ design language.

Although the images, which appear to depict an entry-level variant without the lower LED daytime running lights suggested in last week’s sketch, show next year's territory will come with fresh bumpers and new bonnet and front/rear quarter panels, they also revealed there will be no change to the Territory’s roofline or doors.

As we’ve reported, when it goes on sale in March or April next year the new-look crossover wagon will also preview a facelift for the Falcon upon which it is based – six months later in the third quarter of 2011, when turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost and Liquid Phase Injection (LPi) LPG powertrains will also debut.

While Ford’s redesigned Ranger one-tonne utility will also be released here around the same time – making 2011 an unprecedented year for new model launches from Ford – the six-year-old Territory’s big-ticket item will be the availability of diesel power for the first time.

To be offered in tandem with the Territory’s (and Falcon’s) long-running 4.0-litre inline petrol six, the new Jaguar Land Rover-sourced 2.7-litre V6 turbo-diesel engine is expected to reduce fuel consumption from a current minimum average of 11.6L/100km to around 8.0L/100km.

Finally matching its direct rivals like Holden’s Captiva, the Territory’s European-built diesel engine delivered 140kW of power and 440Nm of torque in Land Rover’s superseded Discovery, which delivered combined fuel economy of 10.2L/100km but weighed up to 500kg more.

As such, matched with the same slick six-speed ZF automatic transmission that is matched with its petrol engine in premium models, the Territory diesel should also lift towing capacity from the outgoing petrol model’s 2300kg.

Left, from top: New headlights and tail-lights for 2011 Territory, last week's official Ford sketch, Ford's all-new 2011 Focus in disguise and Ford Australia's locally developed 2011 Ranger in the Middle East.

Last week Ford said the 2011 Territory would come with a “heavily updated” interior, which like its exterior should herald next year’s updated FG Series II Falcon cabin and should include circular rather than rectangular air-vents and extra chrome highlights to deliver a more cachet value.

Other new technologies should include bi-Xenon headlights, voice-activated audio controls and, possibly, FoMoCo’s MyFord hard-drive multi-media system.

Reflecting Ford’s facelifted Mondeo line-up, the 2011 Territory range could also be crowned by a new ‘Titanium’ flagship in the model’s first update since a new bonnet, headlights and front bumper were added in May 2009.

Whether the new look, more upmarket feel and diesel engine can reverse a trend that has seen Territory sales fall by more than half since its first full year of sales in 2005, when the all-new Geoff Polites-inspired SUV turned Ford Australia’s fortunes around by finding more than 23,000 homes, remains to be seen.

During the same period, the Territory’s share of the red-hot medium SUV market has slumped from 33.5 per cent in 2005 – around the same as that now commanded by Toyota’s Kluger and Prado combined - to 14.1 per cent this year.

Currently, sales of the all-petrol SY Territory are up by 10.8 per cent, to 10,699 sales, in a segment that’s up 26.7 per cent. Some Ford dealers are offering discounts of almost $8000 on some models, with entry-level five-seat rear-wheel-drive TX variants on offer for $35,990 drive-away.

Curiously, the fresh Ford Forums images preceded today’s second instalment of Ford’s staggered release program - a press release explaining camouflaging techniques for developmental models, accompanied by images of the current Territory and next-year’s all-new locally engineered Ranger ute in disguise.

Ford revealed that its use of stretchy Lycra material to camouflage its upcoming Ranger and Territory models during development was pioneered by the FG Falcon.

Presented as an example of Ford Australia’s access to its parent company’s latest engineering techniques under the ‘One Ford’ vehicle development mantra, Ford said the spandex-like car-bra material it uses must be durable enough to withstand harsh Australian conditions and to be reusable in order to reduce costs.

Ford says that along with vinyl, foam, vacuum-formed plastic and fibreglass, Lycra is just one material its prototype team is using to disguise the many development mules it continues to test as part of its aggressive model rollout in 2011.

“These days most people have a camera phone so we have to be extra careful when we use public roads with a prototype,’ said Damian Lavric.

“It is a difficult job because we want to keep driving vehicles in real-world conditions but we don't want to inhibit key vehicle functions at the same time, like engine cooling.

“It's ironic because we want to disguise the vehicles and hide all the details, but all the stickers and camouflage draw the attention we are trying to avoid.”

Ford said its role as global development leader for the new Ranger, codenamed T6 and to be sold in 180 markets, presented new challenges because it required detailed full-body camouflage capable of withstanding everything from icy European winters to the extreme heat of the Australian Outback and Middle East desert.

link:

http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf/story2/42BA4F0D15E4A4B9CA2577FF0023FE1E

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Spy Shots: Next Ford Territory caught nearly naked

by Zach Bowman (RSS feed) on Dec 20th 2010 at 10:30AM

It's becoming harder and harder for manufacturers to hide from the all-seeing eye of the internet. A user with a quick lens over on Ford Forums managed to lay his aperture on a nearly completely uncamo'd example of the new Australian Ford Territory. While the Aussie Blue Oval has been showing off shadowy, stylized photos of the high-rider ahead of its debut, this is probably the best look yet at the new crossover. According to CarAdvice, the next-generation Territory will get its power from a turbo-diesel 2.7-liter V6 engine borrowed from the Land Rover Discovery 3 (a.k.a. LR4). A six-speed automatic transmission will handle shifting detail.

There's also some indication that buyers will be able to opt for an inline six-cylinder gasoline mill if the oil burner doesn't quite suit their wallets. At this point, it's unclear whether Australian buyers will get to play with the new MyFord Touch system that American buyers have been jockeying with in products like the 2011 Ford Edge, but it's a good possibility.

Ford Australia is the midst of a serious product barrage with 85 percent of the company's products receiving significant updates over the next 18 months. Head over to CarAdvice to see the full photos. Thanks for the tip, Andrew!

http://www.autoblog.com/2010/12/20/spy-shots-next-ford-territory-caught-nearly-naked/

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