Upon its launch in India, the new Ford C-segment mid-size SUV is likely to compete against Tata Harrier, MG Hector and the XUV500
With the fall of the joint venture (JV) between Ford and Mahindra, the American carmaker is back to square one as it takes charge of all its developments for upcoming models. The JV had shown lots of promises with many new exciting launches in foray including Ford’s own version of the new Mahindra XUV700 codenamed CX757 based on W601 platform.
However, with the partnership officially dissolved all projects under this JV were discontinued and now has to make new plans for its future products. As reported a few weeks ago that the American brand is now looking to introduce a new C-segment mid-size SUV to compensate for the dissolved CX757 project which is expected to be based on Territory.
Ford C-Segment SUV plaform
Ford Territory was first launched in 2018 in China and has been built on a platform which has been jointly developed by Chinese carmaker Jiangling Motors Corporation (JMC). The primary advantage being that this platform has been engineered at a low base cost which makes it suitable for a budget-centric market like India. To maintain global standards of Ford, the company took assistance from its R&D centre in Australia.
Known as the Asia-Pacific Development Centre which is based in Melbourne, the facility boasts technologies such as a design centre and virtual reality-based engineering stations. Ford’s mighty Endeavor (or Everest) was developed in this facility. And this where the integration of a revised version of CX757 with Territory’s architecture is set to take place. Apart from a low cost, what goes in Territory’s favour is a 2,716mm wheelbase which is similar to Mahindra’s W601.
However, the XUV700 will be slightly longer as it will be a three-row model. In addition, Territory has been designed by Turin-based Italian designing firm Pininfarina which was coincidentally owned by Mahindra until recently. Also, helping in its favour is the fact that Ford recently launched its own version of Territory SUV in the Brazilian market which is considered at the same level as India.
Another major reason for choosing this JMC-based architecture is that it is considered to be more budget-friendly than Mahindra’s W601. As we already know, the Chinese auto market is more cost-competitive than India and this might help Ford in keeping prices at an affordable range. A version of Territory is also on sale in nations such as Cambodia, Laos and Philippines.
Expected Engine, Transmission Options
As far as powertrain is concerned, this new C-segment SUV is likely to draw its energy from a 1.5-litre EcoBoost turbo petrol engine which kicks out 141 bhp at 4,500-5,200rpm and 225 Nm of peak torque at 1,500-4,000rpm. This unit is paired to a CVT automatic gearbox as standard. It is also expected to feature a 48V mild-hybrid technology to increase performance as well as fuel-efficiency.
Ford could also offer with a 2.0-lire EcoBlue diesel motor which is locally manufactured in India and currently powers Endeavour. This unit pushes out 168 bhp and 420 Nm of peak torque and is mated to a 10-speed torque converter automatic gearbox.