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Cast-off ‘premium’ diesel for Territory

Hand me down: The diesel V6 to be introduced in the Ford Territory in 2011 has been used in prestige vehicles such as the Land Rover Discovery and Jaguar XJ.

Ford Territory’s new diesel ‘best in class’, despite being pensioned off in Europe

28 Jul 2009

FORD Australia says its new 2.7-litre diesel Territory SUV – set to go into production in 2011 – will provide best-in-class performance, even though the engine is already being superseded in high-end applications by Land Rover, Jaguar, Peugeot and Citroen.

The first diesel Territory will be one of the last vehicles to use the 140kW V6 turbo diesel made by Ford in the UK, but it is sufficiently hi-tech and refined to out-punch existing engines in rivals such as the 110kW Holden Captiva diesel.

As revealed by GoAuto last month, Ford will also introduce a new single-fuel liquid injection E-Gas LPG system for Falcon next July.

Both powerplants are crucial to maintaining or expanding the volume of Ford’s locally-made vehicles.

About 20 per cent of Falcon sedans and 30 per cent of Falcon Utes are sold with LPG-fuelled engines.

The current single-point gas-injection LPG system would not have passed Euro IV emission standards that come into force in July 2010.

27 center image Left: Land Rover 2.7 TDV6 engine.

The arrival of the diesel engine is particularly important for Territory, as VFACTS sales figures show that 45 per cent of SUVs sold in Australia are powered by diesels.

The 2.7-litre V6 turbo diesel chosen by Ford Australia for Territory was jointly developed by Ford and Peugeot-Citroen. It generates 140kW and 440Nm of torque.

Because it was developed for several premium vehicles, including Land Rovers, Jaguars and high-end Peugeots and Citroens, great emphasis was placed on refinement.

However, these manufacturers are starting to replace this engine with a more powerful twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 diesel that produces 180kW/500Nm in Land Rover guise.

Because Ford Australia will be one of the last companies to use the 2.7-litre engine, development costs have been amortised. This means the price per unit will be far less than it would have been when the powerplant was new, allowing Ford to offer the diesel at a reasonable premium over the petrol version.

Ford Asia Pacific and South Africa chief engineer Rob Conner said the engine would be significantly better than existing diesels in mid-size SUV rivals.

“It is quite a hi-tech engine compared to some of the basic competition,” he said. “It is going to be a great installation.” The diesel Territory will compete head-to-head with the Holden Captiva diesel, which uses a cut-price VM Motori 2.0-litre 110kW/320Nm four-cylinder turbo diesel produced in South Korea.

While Ford is far away from determining how much extra its diesel Territory will cost, it is unlikely to be as cheap as the diesel Captiva, which is just $1000 more than the petrol variant.

Toyota’s Kluger SUV does not have a diesel engine, but its larger sibling, the Prado, has a 3.0-litre with 127kW and 410Nm.

The Territory’s V6 turbo diesel is likely to be fitted with the ZF six-speed automatic transmission currently available in Falcon and Territory, and development has already started.

At Friday’s announcement of the new engine initiatives, Ford Australia insisted the Territory diesel project was not delayed and that the planned introduction was always 2011, despite former president Bill Osborne telling GoAuto that it would arrive in 2010.

That timeframe has since been dismissed as optimistic by Ford, but insiders have confirmed this was the original target date.

GoAuto understands the sheer volume of engine development work pushed back the diesel plan. This work included initial work on the now-cancelled V6 petrol engine, a replacement for the current V8 and now the Falcon four-cylinder petrol EcoBoost engine.

Mr Osborne also told GoAuto that a diesel would also be introduced for the Falcon in 2010.

This move did not have the full approval of senior Ford management in Detroit, and there is no plan for the V6 diesel engine for the Falcon.

There is also no plan to fit the new four-cylinder EcoBoost engine in the Territory as it lacks the torque required for such a heavy vehicle.

Ford Australia says the diesel is a better option for a second Territory engine.

The company already has prototypes running with the V6 diesel engine, but is not prepared to discuss expected fuel consumption figures. However, it is prepared to claim the diesel Territory will emit 25 per cent less CO2 than the petrol version.

The single-fuel E-Gas LPG system is being developed with Orbital, and Ford says it will represent an Australian first.

“The Falcon will be the first locally produced vehicle to incorporate this technology,” Mr Conner said. “It is the most advanced technology there is on the market.” The new Ford liquid-injection system is said to be more accurate than the sequential vapour injection LPG system in the dual-fuel Holden Commodore.

Ford says it will also be far better that its own existing LPG system, allowing it to rev freely.

“There is a big difference between this (new) technology and what is currently in the Falcon,” says Conner.

“It is multi-point, so it is similar to gasoline injection as the LPG is injected into each intake tract rather that a single point.” Ford says the new LPG engine will use at least 12 per cent less fuel than the existing system, but will offer similar if not identical power and torque figures.

Currently, the E-Gas Falcon produces 39kW and 20Nm less than petrol 4.0-litre in-line six-cylinder, with maximum power delivered 1250rpm lower and max torque delivered 500rpm lower.

Mr Connor said LPG engineers had been given the brief to develop the car so that “the driver can’t tell they are driving an LPG vehicle”.

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