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Future models - Ford - Territory

RHD Ford Edge production starts

On the Edge: Ford of Britain has priced its entry version of the Edge SUV at the same price as the EcoBoost Mustang.

Ford Australia closer to a Territory replacement as RHD version of Edge tees off

Ford logo6 May 2016

By RON HAMMERTON

FORD Australia’s likely imported replacement for its locally built Territory, the Edge, has started rolling off the Canadian production line in right-hand drive form ahead of its United Kingdom debut in the northern summer.

While Australian plans for the vehicle are still under wraps, Ford Australia communications and public affairs director Wes Sherwood said July is the target date for an announcement of the large SUV plans beyond the end of local manufacturing in October.

“We look forward to sharing all the details with you then,” he said.

The Mondeo-based Edge is regarded as the only logical candidate to fill the gap left by the Falcon-based Territory, even though the Canadian-made version has – for the moment at least – only five seats and is 108mm shorter than Territory.

However, seven-seat versions have been seen running around Australia, where Ford Asia Pacific engineers have been working on Edge “mules”, including examples from Chinese sister company, Changan Ford.

In a move that could indicate the price position of the new vehicle for Australia when – if pundits are correct – it touches down here under Territory badges in early 2017, the UK Edge base model has been priced at £29,950 – the same price as the entry level four-cylinder Mustang in that market.

In Australia, the 2.3-litre EcoBoost Mustang manual coupe goes for $45,950 plus on-road costs. So, if Ford is tempted to follow a similar pricing policy for an Edge-based Territory here, a mid $40k starting price would place it just above most rivals in the large SUV pack.

The top-selling Toyota Kluger starts at $42,190 in its two-wheel-drive form, the Nissan Pathfinder kicks off at $39,990, the Hyundai Santa Fe at $38,490, Kia Sorento at $40,990 and the Mazda CX-9 – which is about to be replaced with an all-new model – at $43,770.

A circa-$46k price for the new SUV would also be considerably higher than the starting price for the current Territory that opens at $38,490 for the 2WD 4.0-litre petrol TX automatic.

However, to complicate matters, the UK Edge comes with a manual transmission – a feature unlikely to be available in Australia – plus all-wheel drive and diesel-only powertrain as standard.

As two-wheel drive, petrol engines and a six-speed automatic transmission are available on Edge in North America, Ford Australia is likely to tick those boxes for its entry version. This might include the 182kW 2.0-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder petrol engine – similar to the one offered in Falcon and Mondeo.

Diesel alternatives are the two versions of the 2.0-litre TDCi four-cylinder diesel as offered in the UK – a single turbo unit producing 132kW and a twin-turbo unit banging out 154kW.

In the US, the Edge’s top-of-the-range variant gets a 234kW 2.7-litre EcoBoost petrol V6. Less likely for Australia is the 3.5-litre normally aspirated petrol V6 producing 208kW.

In the UK, the Edge is available in three specification levels – Zetec, Titanium and Sport.

Standard features on Zetec include 19-inch alloy wheels, foglights, automatic headlights with auto high beam, power folding mirrors, folding rear seat, DAB radio and SYNC 2 connectivity, active noise control, dual-zone air-conditioning, idle stop and lane keep assist.

The Titanium gains front and rear parking sensors, hands-free tailgate opening, sports seats with variable heating, sat-nav, ambient lighting and 220-volt socket in the centre console.

The Sport version with its more powerful bi-turbo diesel engine gets black-painted exterior trim and bodykit, including roof rails and side skirts, along with 20-inch alloy wheels – also in black – plus sports suspension, adaptive steering and sports pedals.

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