Ford Australia has confirmed that the upcoming V6 turbo-diesel version of the Territory is on track for a 2011 launch, although it won't be joined by an LPG model or four-cylinder entry-level model.
Speaking with TMR today, Ford Australia's Sinead McAlary said that the new variant should broaden the Territory's appeal for customers who have so far looked elsewhere for a diesel option.
"We are moving ahead with our plans to introduce a turbo-charged diesel engine into Territory in 2011," Ms McAlary said.
"We believe the addition of that engine to the Territory range (alongside the current I6 engine), will bring new customers to the brand and allow Territory to compete in the diesel SUV segment."
New car sales for June saw the Territory ranked third in the Medium SUV segment, ahead of the Toyota Kluger and Mitsubishi Pajero, but behind the much newer Toyota Prado and Holden's Captiva, which benefits from a cheaper entry point than the Territory.
Ms McAlary ruled out the idea of a new entry-level Territory powered by the four-cylinder EcoBoost engine scheduled to debut in the Falcon later this year.
"The EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine that is slated for Falcon next year will not be going into Territory as we believe the diesel is the best "alternative" powertrain for that model."
Ms McAlary's comments follow confirmation last year that Ford will launch launch two new versions of the Falcon sedan over the next two years; a four-cylinder EcoBoost-powered model later this year, and a new LPG Falcon to replace the current E-Gas model in 2011. At the same time, Ford said that it would not offer an EcoBoost version of the Territory.
Instead, the Territory will get a 2.7 litre turbo-diesel V6 from 2011 onward. CO2 emissions will be cut by as much as 25 percent compared to the current naturally-aspirated inline six.
Although Ford has yet to reveal power figures, the fact that the same engine is already in use by Land Rover - producing 140kW and 440Nm of torque - will likely mean similar figures for Ford.
For the short term, the turbo-diesel powertrain will be exclusive to the Territory. However, while Ford's Chief Vehicle Engineer Rob Connor told TMR earlier this year that there was "...no technical reason it couldn't fit in a Falcon," there is no plan to produce a diesel Falcon in the near future.