Ford has unveiled a new compact SUV for the Chinese market, the Territory. It will sit above the EcoSport in China to rival the Hyundai Creta when it launches there in 2019. Ford has developed the Territory in collaboration with JMC (Jiangling Motors Corporation), one of Ford’s two joint venture partners in China.
The Territory gets a chrome-studded grille at the front flanked by horizontally stretched headlamps. Its side profile features prominent wheel arches and sharp character lines. The cabin also has a premium feel to it as it gets a large infotainment screen in the central console, which sits above the Mustang-like toggle switch controls. Features on offer include a Co-Pilot 360 suite of Driver Assistance Technologies (DATs), incorporating features such as Adaptive Cruise Control and Pre-Collision Assist.
The list of features is impressive considering the fact that the Territory is aimed at Chinese buyers in emerging cities. On top of it, Ford says that the upcoming SUV will be affordable and aimed at young families.
The Territory will be available in three powertrain options in China: a petrol engine, a 48V mild-hybrid and a plug-in hybrid. The petrol and mild-hybrid versions are expected to be powered by the same 1.5-litre petrol engine that powers the Yusheng S330 (the SUV on which the Territory is based). It makes 163PS and 250Nm with a 6-speed AMT.
While the Territory is not a vehicle that we expect to come to India, it can be seen as a precursor of what Ford could do in India with Mahindra. The American carmaker will make use of another carmaker’s platform (Mahindra’s) and build its own SUV on it in India as well. And as in the Territory’s case, Ford will have to target young buyers in India as well, offering modern-day features and still keeping the price competitive.
While it’s not confirmed yet, Ford’s first SUV from its tie-up with Mahindra is also expected to be a Creta or a Compass rival, holding fort in the compact SUV space. It remains to be seen if the upcoming India-spec compact SUV will be called Territory only or if Ford goes with a different name for it.