Tim O'Brien | Jul 1, 2008

A Diesel for Ford Territory? (Apparently yes…)

It’s official brothers and sisters - straight from the horse’s mouth – an oil-burner is being assessed for the engine bay of the Territory. Ford boss, Bill Osborne, has confirmed to respected industry magazine, VACC’s Australian Automotive Workshop (AAW), that Ford Australia is “actively investigating” a diesel for its class-leading and highly awarded AWD.

“We are actively investigating the possibility of introducing a diesel engine to the successful Territory range. We recognise that this is an area of potential opportunity for both consumers and for the company,” Mr Osborne said. (AAW, Issue 4 2008, page 10)

Now the corporate world is very careful about its choice of words; loose lips have sent more than one corporate ‘grand plan’ to the bottom of the harbour (and development dollars with them). Does “actively investigating” signal a ‘dead cert’? In this instance, with the head of Ford Australia speaking directly to the national motor industry (and to Ford dealers), you would have to think “yes”.

Of course, the fuel consumption advantage and high-torque characteristics of the modern turbo-diesel make it a logical choice and natural fit for Ford’s family-friendly Territory. In the current market, the Territory’s liking for a drink, especially when under load (like when laden with kids and a cubit of camp clobber), is certain to be punishing sales.

Sure, diesel prices are out of control, but even at a margin to petrol, the extra kilometres the diesel option can extract from every litre makes it the sensible choice as prices for both fuels continue to climb. (Friends, I feel your pain at the pump, but there’s no end in sight.)

duratorq-dieselSo which engine is it to likely to be? You can put your money on Ford’s brilliant DT17 V6 found in the Land Rover Discovery Td6, Jaguar S-Type and Peugeot 407 HDi (among others). It’s a ripper unit.

A member of the Ford Duratorq family of engines, the 2.7 litre (2720 cc) DOHC V6 is a result of a joint venture between Ford and PSA Peugeot Citroën (dating back to 1999) and is produced at Ford UK’s Dagenham factory.

With a 60° V configuration, twin and single turbochargers, high-pressure common rail direct injection and light-weight compacted graphite iron block construction (just 202 kilograms dry weight), this potent unit produces 147 kW to 152 kW, and up to 440 Nm of torque.

How would it go in the Territory you ask? As well as it goes in the Discovery (and that, my friends, in case you are unaware, is very well indeed).

When it appears, it will certainly make the case for export of the Territory a whole lot stronger.

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