DESPITE the Australian-built Ford Territory going out of production almost two years ago, the Blue Oval has yet to offer a direct replacement to the SUV-hungry masses locally. The larger Everest has seen its sales spike as a result, but there’s no substitute for a like-for-like replacement.
That’s about to change, with Ford Australia set to sell the Endura locally from December this year.
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Known as the Edge overseas, the mid-size SUV was forced to change its badge locally due to a long-running trademark dispute over the name with Toyota.
This week Ford confirmed on social media that an ST-Line variant of the Endura would be coming to Australia.
Wheels understands it will be joined by Trend and Titanium variants at launch, with the former acting as the entry-level model.
While multiple drivetrain combinations are available overseas, Australians will be offered a cut down range, comprising just one single engine and gearbox.
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A 2.0-litre four-cylinder twin-turbo diesel engine will be mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission in all three variants rather than the ten-speed unit fitted to the Ranger Raptor.
Ford Australia was tight-lipped when probed on power figures for the engine, but suggested that the Endura wouldn’t have an identical amount of power as the Raptor (157kW/500Nm), which is also fitted with a 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel.
Ford UK currently offers the Endura with two different tunes of the turbo-diesel powerplant (132kW /400Nm and 154kW/450Nm), and Wheels understands it’s the latter which will be fitted to the Aussie version.
The three variants offered will largely differ in their feature specification, while the ST-Line is also likely to get a unique suspension and braking set-up. Ford wouldn’t confirm at this stage which mix of front- or all-wheel drive models would be offered.
Every Endura which lands on Aussie soil will be built in Ford’s Oakville factory in Canada. All Aussie Enduras will also be limited to five seats, as the seven-seat variant built in China is not engineered for right-hand-drive.
Ford Australia is yet to announce local pricing, but it is expected the entry-level Endura is likely to cost more than $40,000, with the Titanium and ST-Line set to be priced to rival Mazda’s popular CX-8 and CX-9 models.
While the Endura seems a natural replacement for the Australian-built Territory, Ford is hesitant to make a direct comparison between the pair, with a local spokesperson noting the imported SUV will have more interior space than the COTY winning Territory. The local Blue Oval arm is also suggesting the Endura will offer a more premium feel compared to other mainstream rivals.
“The Endura will appeal to customers looking for a premium SUV with high-end features, craftsmanship and a model line that caters to specific tastes. It’s unlike any SUV we’ve offered here, and expands our SUV offering to provide even greater choice for Australian customers.” Product Communications Manager Damion Smy said.
Smy also confirmed that neither the 2.7-litre twin-turbo V6 EcoBoost engine nor the 250kW Edge/Endura ST, would be coming to Australia.