Story originally appear 21 October, 1999
Ford’s admiration to aggrandize the Falcon ambit with a 4WD wagon was appear by The Age in May but, until now, Ford had about absolved the idea.
Ford’s admiral of its Asia Pacific Operations, Terry DeJonckheere, who was in Australia aftermost week, has accepted that a 4WD Falcon is on the cartoon lath but fatigued that a plan had yet to be assuredly approved. The afraid point has been Ford’s abhorrence to add yet addition alleged action account agent to its already billowing SUV line-up.
However, a day-long affair in Melbourne aftermost anniversary to analysis the activity is said to accept assertive DeJonckheere that Ford Australia should anatomy the vehicle.
The affair is said to accept included attractive at full-size architecture proposals.
Now Ford Australia charge accomplish the numbers add up for what is accepted to be a $75 to $150 actor project. It is said to be codenamed Raptor. If accustomed soon, the Raptor could be on the bazaar by the end of 2002 or the aboriginal bisected of 2003.
However, Ford will accept to get a move on as its arch-rival, Holden, is additionally accepted to arch bottomward the 4WD wagon avenue with the Commodore.
Holden’s administrator and managing director, Peter Hanenberger, told Drive aftermost anniversary that a 4WD was the best acceptable advantage if the aggregation absitively to anatomy a third archetypal off the Commodore platform.
This archetypal is accepted to access post-2005, back the next-generation Commodore goes on sale. However, Hanenberger said the third archetypal could go on auction afore the present Commodore died.
Hanenberger additionally accepted that the Commodore Coupe would go on auction backward in 2001.
Ford Australia wants to advance a bristles or seven-seat 4WD wagon that would sit on the Falcon’s long-wheelbase chassis, which is acclimated for the accepted base wagons and the Fairlane/LTD affluence cars.
The Raptor will get an all-new anatomy in a bid to maximise the vehicle’s off-road looks and autogenous space. Drive has been told that Raptor would accept a altered windscreen to the Falcon sedan.
Ford is angled to fit a agent agent to the off-roader (possibly a 2.7-litre unit), a move that will accessible up cogent consign markets.
Development assignment is already beneath way, with 4WD Falcon wagons and utes apparent active about the Ford branch and at the company’s proving arena at the You Yangs.
Raptor may use a part-time 4WD system, which would be affianced by the driver.
But no amount what driveline is specified, it is accepted to apply the new, absolute double-wishbone arrangement that is adapted to the upmarket versions of the present Falcon.
Ford is additionally accepted to acquaint a 4WD adaptation of the Falcon ute.
To barometer acknowledgment to Raptor and a smaller, light-duty 4WD wagon, Ford will acceptation either backward abutting year or in aboriginal 2002 the MY Mercury abstraction car it displayed at the motor appearance in Sydney.
The MY Mercury, like the Raptor, is a ‘cross-over’ vehicle, one that attempts to alloy the load-carrying and off-road adeptness of a 4WD with the amplitude of a bodies mover and the on-road clarification and abridgement of a car.
If the Raptor gets the go-ahead, it is accepted to amount amid $40,000 and $55,000.
Ford got its ambition for a locally-developed SUV adaptation of its accepted Falcon sedan, the Ford Territory (not Raptor!) activity on auction in 2004. Based on Ford’s EA169 belvedere that additionally underpinned the Falcon, the Territory accepted an actual hit with buyers.
Power came from Ford’s admirable 4.0-litre straight-six ‘Barra’ engine, although hardly detuned. In the Territory, the Barra initially fabricated 182kW and 380Nm, but those outputs grew abundantly through alternating archetypal updates.
Prices at barrage ranged from $38,990 for the entry-level TX rear-wheel-drive Territory to $53,290 for the Ghia with all-wheel drive. It was accessible as either a five- or seven-seater.
Several Australian firsts underpinned the Territory, not atomic of which was its crimson as the aboriginal (and so far, only) SUV advised and congenital in Australia. It was additionally the aboriginal Australian-built agent able with cyberbanking adherence control.
Ford awash 178,214 Territories amid 2004 and 2016, with the aerial point (23,454 sales) advancing in aloof its additional year on sale, accent the about-face by Australians appear ancestors SUVs.
The Territory remained in assembly until 2016 through bristles facelifts and updates – SX, SY, SYII, SZ, and SZ II – afore Ford pulled the pin on bounded assembly on 7 October, 2016.
While the account surrounding the cease of Australian assembly centred on the annihilation of the iconic Ford Falcon ancestors sedan, the Territory’s annihilation was generally overlooked.
Ford’s arch-rival Holden, additionally approved to tap into the beginning SUV market, absolution the Holden Adventra in August 2004. Based on the VY Commodore, the all-wheel-drive high-riding wagon looked like the accommodation it was, abnormally back continuing alongside the bespoke SUV architecture of the Ford Territory. Unsurprisingly, barter flocked to Ford, abrogation the Adventra to constipate in dealerships afore Holden pulled the pin in 2006.
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