Following an extensive development programme the covers have finally come off the highly anticipated new-model Ford Territory. The Australian-designed-and-developed SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) has undergone an extensive visual update inside and out. The new Territory wears a stylish suit cut from Ford's kinetic design language and its bold new look makes it instantly recognisable as a member of Ford's comprehensive model family.
Redesigning the multi-award-winning Ford Territory meant building on its already clean and attractive looks, the result of the first-generation Territory's original design goal: to create a vehicle that embodied the strength and power of a traditional SUV while having the prestige, agility and nimbleness of a sporting sedan. The new Ford Territory has taken this to another level.
Underpinning new Ford Territory's design was its dual personality: a sophisticated and sporty urban wagon for weekdays and a family getaway vehicle on weekends. Successfully presenting these two functional roles in an exciting visual form was the responsibility of the Ford Australia design team, headed by Chris Svensson, Design Director for Ford Asia Pacific and Africa.
"We worked hard to ensure the new Territory was an evolution of the original model and, through the use of Ford's distinct design DNA, also gave a hint of the future," Svensson said. "To achieve this we applied Ford's unique style philosophy: kinetic design. Kinetic design comprises several specific elements, all of which are present in the new Ford Territory. They are confident stance, dynamic lines, expressive form language, taut surfacing, bold graphics and great detailing. When you combine them they convey movement and athleticism. In other words, the vehicle looks like it is moving when standing still. The overall visual effect of kinetic design is simple: in the case of the new Ford Territory it communicates its dynamic capabilities and fun-to-drive spirit."
2012 Ford Territory
Externally, significant changes to Territory's styling have resulted in a stunning new look. At the front, the vehicle uses an all-new tri-plane front-end architecture. The new trapezoid-shaped main grille is one of the new Ford Territory's most noticeable updates. This larger, lower grille in a unique three-bar design connects with the slim-line treatment given to the upper grille opening, a feature which sees the famous Ford roundel now surrounded by its own elegant winged structure.
New slim-line headlights with projector beam technology are another stand-out feature of the new Ford Territory's frontal styling. The high-series Titanium variant takes this a step further with the introduction of LED (Light-Emitting Diode) position lamps integrated into its redesigned front bumper. At the bottom of Territory's new face is a U-formed lower chin skid plate.
Combining these stunning elements has produced an impressive new look.
"New Ford Territory's unique frontal design was recognised by Ford's Global Design Management as a key feature that not only identified Territory as a distinctly Australian product, but also embodies cues that are core to the Ford design DNA," Chris Svensson said. "That's the strength of our global One Ford philosophy. The design of Ford Territory was developed as part of our global philosophy but specifically crafted to appeal to the Australian consumer."
Moving rearwards, the new Territory sports a sculpted new bonnet and subtle flutes for the front guards. Bold wheel lips emphasise its athletic stance.
A new C-pillar design smooths the transition from front to rear. Resurfaced door cladding and a lower rocker moulding combine to give Ford Territory a lower, athletic stance.
At the rear, Svensson's highly skilled team has made a number of enhancements. New Territory sports sleek horizontal tail lights that wrap around the rear of the vehicle that create a seamless visual link to the rear of the vehicle. Connecting them is a new rear lift-gate appliqué. Finishing the new rear styling is a redesigned bumper and new lower-level valence panel.
Rounding out new Ford Territory's exterior is a new catalogue of locally designed wheels, which will be available in diameters of 17 and 18 inches in model-specific designs.
On the inside, the popular SUV maintains its famed ability for almost endless adaptation to Australian lifestyles. Its car-like cabin is sporty and sophisticated and continues its "dual personality" theme by delivering stunning form and excellent function.
The new Territory is fitted with an all-new Instrument Panel (IP) featuring - for the first time - an eight-inch touch screen and new functional storage solutions. Ford Territory drivers will find the technologically advanced touch screen both easy to reach and use and its central location makes it simple for both front occupants to operate.
A new four-spoke steering wheel puts drivers in control of the new Territory's impressive handling capabilities and gives finger-tip control to audio and cruise control functions.
Ford Territory's new Interior Command Centre (ICC) provides front-seat occupants with familiar and simple-to-use controls for functions such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning. At the bottom of this new ICC is an all-new storage area. This stylish and functional feature uses a smooth-action tambour door which adds to the interior's equally smooth style. It is here the new IP connects with Territory's stylish and functional centre console. Versatile cup holders, deep console bin storage and USB / iPod connectivity exemplify Ford Territory's famed user-friendliness.
Carefully selected materials and colours bring the new Territory's exterior design inside. For example, high-gloss spears adorn the centre console in the Territory Titanium and connect the front of the interior with the middle seat row. Spears of a similar design feature on the new IP.
Chris Svensson: "The contemporary design of the new Ford Territory combines stylish surfacing, exact proportions and high-quality finishes with advanced engineering and delivers a vehicle that is even further refined and composed on the road."
For some, designing a vehicle with two personalities would be considered a tough challenge. Not for Todd Willing, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa's Melbourne-based chief designer responsible for the new Territory's stunning look.
"Ford Territory's credentials as the weekday family car ideal for weekend getaways are well established and it is this dual personality - one of Territory's many attractive features - that is emphasised in its new exterior design," Willing said. "The new Territory exhibits a rugged outdoors-oriented look but its contemporary design is just as at home in the city. Keeping that connection was important, as was showcasing Ford's distinct design DNA - especially the styling hallmarks from the company's passenger car family."
The front end of the new Ford Territory uses a modern tri-plane design. This kinetic facial layout achieves its dynamic look by combining several important elements.
Precision-design projector headlights give the new Territory an immediate attitude that is modern and polished. These are connected visually by a slim-line upper air intake grille that wears a unique wing-formed shape formed from a single bar. This sharp design element surrounds the centrally mounted Blue Oval badge. It is an entirely new design feature from the Ford Australia design team.
"By adding some definition around the Ford badge we have made it more three-dimensional and prominent without changing its size," Willing said. "It is an important feature fitted to the new Ford Territory's frontal design and one which has the potential to be adopted elsewhere."
One of new Territory's most dominating frontal features is its new centrally located main grille opening. This clipped trapezoidal air intake is an important part of Territory's kinetic styling and features an eye-catching triple open-bar design. These bars are given additional attention on the range-leading Titanium version by wearing a chrome finish for a high-jewel effect.
"Dominating the front-end design of the new Ford Territory is its striking trapezoid main grille, a design feature our global design colleagues have recognised as highly creative in forging Territory as a uniquely Australian design," Willing said.
The clipped trapezoid-shaped air intake is more than just a showpiece; its eye-catching shape is also the result of the Ford Territory's cooling needs.
Todd Willing: "The overall main grille design is tied into Territory's engine cooling airflow requirements so getting the final shape absolutely correct had as much to do with engineering as it did aesthetics."
Moving downwards, new Ford Territory's face is completed by an integrated U-form lower chin skid plate. This subtle design feature emphasises Territory's versatility as an outdoor-lifestyle vehicle. It is also a strong yet smooth design element that finishes the vehicle's new frontal style.
Another first for new Ford Territory is the fitment of high-tech LED (Light-Emitting Diode) position lamps. These are fitted to the range-leading Territory Titanium and are usually found on more expensive European SUVs. They are located at the outer edges of the lower trapezoid grille and they operate as position lamps. They also constitute a signature design feature for Ford Territory Titanium. Round fog lights are fitted to the mid-range TS model.
Moving up to the bonnet, Willing and his team have added more surface sculpting.
"We wanted to add more muscularity to the bonnet design with a modest bulge that hints at the available power underneath," Willing said. "These details refer to the arrival of the new TDCi V6 engine and the finer sculpture treatments across both the bonnet and front of the car add to the message of a more dynamic design."
The new Territory wears fender features, also known as guard flutes, that add to its sense of strength. This design detail also helps differentiate between each of the models in the series: TX, TS and Titanium. The chrome finish fitted to the Titanium hints at its premium status.
Willing: "The Ford Territory's doors now wear a more integrated design and we have surfaced the door cladding and lower door moulding to make it flusher. The body is given a lower look overall which is a more dynamic appearance."
The SUV's integrated roof rails carry over from the outgoing model Territory and make cross-bar mounting easy to enhance the vehicle's versatility.
To unite the new Territory's front and rear designs Willing's team has made the C-pillar sit flush with the body and there is a subtle kink to the top edge of the C-pillar side window to give a more three-dimensional look.
"The new Ford Territory's rear-three-quarter sheet metal is all new and this gave us the freedom to give it a sleek and modern finish," Willing said. "The rear side glass is also clipped to sharpen the new Territory's overall profile."
Immediately apparent at the rear of the new Territory is the new design of its tail lights. These shoulder-set lights wrap around into Ford Territory's rear three-quarter panels and connect the side- and rear-end treatments. Their design is more car-like and their jewel-like effect transforms the look of the new Territory at the rear, especially at a three-quarter angle.
A number of subtle yet highly effective enhancements underpin the new Territory's overall modern rear styling.
"We have been able to connect the tail-light treatment with a new rear lift-gate appliqué across the back of the car," Todd Willing said. "This not only looks more contemporary but helps visually widen the rear of the car. The rear bumper has been restyled along with the rear lower protective skid plate - a feature which matches that used on the front of the car as well as the hexagonal design used in Ford Territory's door kick plates."
The range-leading Titanium model features twin chrome C-shaped accents embedded into the lower valence panel. This subtle graphic touch again differentiates the range-leading version and helps emphasise new Territory's tapered rear design.
The new Territory retains the clever multi-piece tailgate with integrated release handle and easy-access flip-glass.
The Ford Australia design team responsible for the new Territory's interior has worked to build on the model's famed functionality and attractive cabin. New Ford Territory's five- or seven-seat flexibility, user-friendly technology and driver-oriented cockpit provide the ideal environment for today's modern family.
Melbourne-based Scott Ferrier, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa's Design Manager for passenger car interiors, said it was vital to maintain familiarity when developing new Territory's interior.
"When we first designed the Territory our customers hailed the vehicle's functionality, spaciousness, and design," he said. "Territory is a very successful model for Ford. We had to enhance it with respect to its many existing owners, all of whom are essential to the model's continued success. Hence, there are several aspects to the new Territory's interior that identify with the original model. Drivers will find the positioning of the new Territory's controls both familiar and easy to use. The layout of the panel's instrument cluster and central LED screen, the centre console, button controls and steering column-mounted stalk controls are stylish and logical."
Instrument Panel (IP), Steering Wheel and All-new 8-inch Touch Screen
The new Ford Territory's fundamental interior architecture remains unchanged and starts with its seven-seat "theatre-style" seating layout (standard fitment on Titanium and TS, optional at extra cost on TX).
Each of the three variants - TX, TS and Titanium - receives unique cabin treatments taken from new Territory's kinetic design DNA.
Customers will instantly feel at home with the clearly visible Ford design language obvious in the new Ford Territory's enhanced interior space.
Headlining the list of enhancements are the new instrument panel (IP), centre console, and four-spoke steering wheel, all of which share their design origins from the current-model FG Falcon sedan. The design of their push-button controls and elegant layout add to the interior's up-to-date feel.
Behind the new four-spoke steering wheel, the new instrument panel's easy-to-read gauge cluster with centrally mounted LED screen is elegant and effective. New, round air vents are located at each end of the new instrument panel. These not only enhance the look of the cabin but also provide efficient cooling and heating.
The new Territory's Interior Command Centre (ICC) - which is located at the centre of the instrument panel - is also familiar from the FG Falcon but it arrives in the new Ford Territory with a special addition. In an Australian Ford-first, the new Territory will be available with Ford's advanced eight-inch colour touch screen - a technology milestone for an Australian-built Ford vehicle. This stylish and simple-to-use feature will be fitted to the Territory TS and Titanium models as standard equipment. The Ford Territory TX will be fitted with a 5.8-inch monochromatic display screen.
This signature touch-screen feature is mounted at the top of the instrument panel's ICC and within easy view and reach for both the driver and front passenger. The sleek-looking unit controls functions such as Territory's audio system, telephone and climate controls.
Scott Ferrier: "The new colour touch screen is very easy to operate from both front seats and we worked hard to ensure it is suitably recessed to shield it from direct sunlight."
At the base of the ICC and located just ahead of the transmission gear shifter is another all-new feature. A stylish tambour door conceals a deeply recessed storage bin with ample room for mobile telephones, CDs, iPods or small cameras. It also offers dedicated storage for a tissue box and has an integrated pen holder and a 12-volt accessory outlet.
This storage unit is a clever addition to Territory's famed functionality and packaging. The roller-action tambour door has been carefully developed to provide a smooth and damped action reminiscent of those found in more expensive European cars. It has also been sculpted as part of the new Ford Territory's centre console, the comfortable design of which will also be familiar to Ford drivers.
The centre console now comes with recessed cup holders for better stowage and their rubber surrounds offer increased support. They are also located well clear of the handbrake and transmission shifter.
Another key aspect of the new Territory's interior design is the structural wrap-around for the centre console and the satin spears. These emphasise strength and are one of the many kinetic design touches that match Territory's interior with its exterior.
COLOUR AND MATERIALS DESIGN
An essential element of new Ford Territory's interior design brief was the use of more luxurious fabrics on all model variants, giving the occupant space a high level of quality, sophistication and comfort.
Emily Lai, Ford Australia's Design Manager for Colours and Materials, said the new Territory's architectural-type interior finishes of satin and bright chrome were the result of customer feedback.
"Our customers made it clear they wanted to feel like they were in a car, not a truck," she said. "The new Ford Territory's cabin environment is both sporty and sophisticated and its high chrome and satin highlights are modelled on the architectural finishes found in many modern homes and businesses. Both satin and gloss finishes not only provide a high level of sophisticated elegance but link the vehicle's exterior styling with the interior."
The stylish cabin design carries from the front-seat area to the middle- and third-row passengers, areas often overlooked by designers. There is no compromise with the look and feel of the materials from the front of the cabin to the rear.
The new Territory will be available in a variety of upholstery colours and finishes. For example, the no-cost optional light-coloured leather seats in the new range-leading Titanium model, Cashmere, provides a tonal environment that reflects light with the use of high-gloss and satin-metallic finishes. It adds a feeling of heightened visual comfort traditionally found in luxury cars and SUVs. The interior of the Titanium model is partly upholstered in high-grade leather and will also be available in a Shadow (black) environment. The mid-level TS model also wears a Shadow environment and will feature a colour keyed cloth-suede combination seat trim and satin-metallic finishes. The TX will be available in a Shadow environment offering a colour-harmonised cloth seat trim and technical satin finish accents.
The new Territory's instrument panel wears the same high-quality grain finish that was developed specifically for the current-model FG Falcon. Called "Natural", it is designed to vary subtly in size, scale and depth throughout the IP. Natural gives a softer, more leather-like appearance.
Storage: Clever and Practical Packaging
New Ford Territory builds on its famed interior functionality. Customers will enjoy the clever lockable drawer located under the driver's seat and the handbag / umbrella recesses next to both the driver and front passenger seats. In addition to the revised centre console-mounted cup holders there are adjustable door-mounted versions for cups and bottles of varying size. Each rear door has an integrated stowage area as do the sides of the third-row passenger compartment, which are fitted with armrest bins and cup holders. The new Territory also comes fitted with map pockets and seat pockets along with a flat folding floor for the rear compartment.