The Ford Equator will be sold exclusively in the Chinese market and it will be manufactured by Jiangling-Ford JV
Photos of the Ford Equator SUV for the Chinese market surfaced online several months ago and the full-size SUV is finally getting ready to be launched there. Destined to fight it out with the likes of Toyota Highlander and Jeep Grand Commander, the Equator has the looks and the equipment to be a serious contender.
Ford Equator – Overview
The variant spied in latest spy shots is the top of the line Titanium variant. The Ford Equator adopts a fresh styling language which hardly has anything in common with the Blue Oval’s global portfolio. The two-part headlamp design and massive hexagonal radiator grille and a chrome finished chin help the SUV have an imposing stance.
The profile is characterized by a long bonnet and a flat roofline. The SUV measures 4,905 mm in length, 1,930 mm in width and 1,755 mm in height and has a wheelbase of 2,865 mm. There has been no attempt by the designers to mask the sheer enormity of the vehicle. A simple rear fascia with connected combination lights and a vertical tailgate round off the exterior design.
The brown and beige dual-tone interior features a familiar Ford multi-function steering wheel but the rest of the multilayered dashboard adopts fresh design. A single-piece display doubles up as instrument console as well as touchscreen infotainment system.
The drive selector knob is located on an elevated platform which culminates in a button-less center console. The plus leather and wooden appointments render the cabin a luxurious feel. The Ford Equator features three rows of seat in 2+2+3 configuration with ample space on offer for the last row occupants.
The premium SUV is equipped with Ford CoPilot360 suite of ADAS features which include blind spot detection, cross-traffic alert, lane keeping assist, pre-collision assist with autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, evasive steering assist, reverse brake assist, active park assist, hill descent control and so on.
The only engine available is the 2.0-liter Ford EcoBoost turbocharged petrol unit which can be specified either with a standard 5-speed manual transmission or an optional 6-speed dual-clutch automatic unit. The motor is good for 221 hp. Both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations are on offer.
Being a China-only product, the Ford Equator will be made by Jiangling-Ford JV. We don’t expect the SUV to be sold in other international markets.
Ford’s future in India
After calling off the JV with Mahindra earlier this year, Ford’s future plans in India are not entirely clear as of now. The company is developing a C-SUV based on next generation Mahindra XUV500’s underpinnings. It is being reported that this project is currently on a temporary hold as the both the automakers in question are exploring their options on how to proceed further.