CANBERRA, Australia – Automotive journalists from Australia and New Zealand got behind the wheel of the new, redesigned Territory SUV for the first time this month at a major media drive event in Canberra.
Ford Australia rolled out 15 brand new SZ Territory models (12 with the V6 turbo-diesel, and three petrol I6 variants) for the drive, which took place on April 5 and 7. Nearly 50 media representatives attended.
Each day’s media event started with a morning product presentation in the exclusive private dining rooms located within Australia’s Parliament House, followed by a four-hour drive that included a relaxing waterside lunch stop at Batemans Bay.
The next-generation Territory is the first diesel-engine-powered vehicle built by Ford Australia. The new SUV offers its traditionally most popular features – such as its packing and storage solutions – with an exciting new interior and exterior design, and advanced levels of mobile connectivity.
Journalists were introduced to the sleeker, smarter, sportier incarnation of the Territory SUV by Jim Baumbick, Engineering Director, APA; Con Papadomanolakis, Electrical Integration Engineer, APA; and Russell Christophers, Vehicle Line Director, E8 Platform. Special attention was given to the new HMI (Human Machine Interface) features, which include an 8-inch touch screen for TS and Titanium models.
The drive started from Canberra's Parliament House and ended at Batemans Bay. The route chosen for the event included almost all of the possible road types found in Australia: smooth and rough bitumen, dirt roads, uphill and downhill sections were selected to demonstrate the Territory’s acceleration and braking performance. The return route brought guests back to Canberra Airport for their flights home at the end of the day. As a bonus, New Zealand media guests enjoyed a special dinner with Ford executives and engineers.
The media’s first driving impressions of Ford Australia’s latest product have been overwhelmingly positive, with Byron Mathioudakis, of the GoAuto website calling the new Territory one of the best automotive buys on Earth.
“All in all then, the changes transform what is already a likeable, award-winning wagon into what might just be one of the greatest SUV buys on the planet right now,” Mathioudakis said. “Adding diesel power and economy makes the 2011 Territory TDCi one of the most relevant vehicles every made in this country, while its appealingly cheaper petrol sibling is a very, very hard act to beat."
TX Territory at Batemans Bay.