Here It Comes ..... the Ford Territory
The new Ford Territory
10th May, 2004
"Territory will redefine the local automotive
Four years and $500 million of exhaustive research, design, engineering and testing culminate with the launch of the new Ford Territory.
Territory represents the latest development of a continuing tradition of innovation and ingenuity at Ford Australia.
Designed to adapt endlessly to the ever-changing needs of Australian motorists, Territory offers car-like styling and vehicle dynamics with the versatility of a traditional SUV or people mover.
Territory will be built on the same assembly line as Falcon and shares the award winning Falcon's engine, transmission and an adaptation of the critically acclaimed Control Blade IRS.
Territory, however, has a completely different underbody structure, unique front suspension and an all-wheel drive system incorporating the latest global technology.
"The idea for Territory began - as all great cars do - by recognising a customer need," said Vehicle Director Russell Christophers.
Christophers took the lead in researching and developing the Territory concept in 1999.
"Hours of extensive market research established a growing need for a vehicle combining the best characteristics of family sedans, traditional SUVs and people movers.
"The owners of these traditional vehicles were all reasonably happy, but could quickly identify areas where their vehicle didn't quite match their wants and needs.
"Family sedan owners loved their car's performance and handling, but wished the car was more adaptable to their lifestyle.
"SUV owners loved the command driving position and the interior versatility, but wished their vehicle could handle more like a car than a truck - particularly in city driving. Most freely admitted to never exploiting the off-road capability of those vehicle's 4WD systems and said they weren't happy with the upfront and ongoing costs.
"People movers offer great practicality to their owners, but almost to a person they commented on the lack of aspiration of driving such a vehicle, and hated being 'the bus driver'."
Christophers said Ford created a triangle with a family sedan at the apex, a people mover in one corner and a traditional SUV in the other.
"In the middle lay an area for a hybrid vehicle that could offer the best of all those vehicles, a sweet spot waiting to be hit.
"Territory does more than hit that sweet spot. It smacks it out of the stadium."
Territory has been created to be equally at home in urban or outdoor environments, with a flexible interior offering functionality and versatility for up to seven people, without sacrificing on style or aesthetics.
Territory will also be the only vehicle of its type in Australia to launch with both all-wheel drive (AWD) and rear-wheel drive (RWD) variants.
Rear-wheel drive customers will enjoy the other benefits of Territory's extensive engineering program, along with the style, command driving position and interior flexibility benefits inherent in the new vehicle.
"There is a significant group of customers out there who have told us that while they want a lot of the features and advantages that Territory will have, they don't need full-time AWD capability," said Christophers.
"For these people, RWD Territory is a more logical progression from the traditional large sedan or wagon. Many of these customers have migrated into large 4WDs simply because they are looking for a higher ride height and interior flexibility.
"They have a limited, or in many cases no need for the 4WD capability of those vehicles but have previously had no option but to accept it and pay for it as standard equipment, just to get the package they wanted.
"The RWD Territory offers the command driving position and flexibility customers want in a vehicle perfectly suited to those people with no ambition to venture off the beaten track."
Christophers said Territory was the ultimate lifestyle package.
"Territory is practical and versatile, with an interior that accommodates an active lifestyle while being stylish and fun to drive.
"Its combination of styling, features, performance, safety and outstanding value for money make the new Territory one of the finest cars to ever roll off a Ford assembly line."