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Update 02/03/2009: We have discovered that Ford will be releasing the diesel Territory in April, 2009. The diesel Territory will be powered by Volvo’s inline 5-cylinder diesel motor – named the D5 in the Volvo camp.

The engine is expected to produce 136kW and 400Nm of torque. The engine is currently found in the S40, V50, XC70, XC90 and XC60. The XC90 weighs in at 2069kg, making it around the same weight as the Territory. It moves from 0-100km/h in the XC90 in around 11-seconds, so it’s reasonable to expect similar economy from the Territory.

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The Australian automotive media have been talking about it for about the same length of time they’ve been wishing and hoping for a GTHO.

This time it’s real though. After hibernating for a short while, our spy photographer is back on the beat! The first thing they spotted was this pair of Territorys testing.

The photographer said it was a relatively quiet diesel engine, with one of the vehicles accelerating just metres away from the photographer. There was also very little smoke from the exhaust, indicating a diesel particulate filter will be used to conserve emissions and visible particulate matter.

The two white Territorys were then seen racing each other down a straight stretch of road. There is a distinct possibility Ford are either benchmarking the engine to their current petrol model, or testing another diesel engine variant.

Ford Territory Diesel Spy PhotographsFord Territory Diesel Spy Photographs

If Ford plans to have the diesel Territory ready by this week’s Melbourne Motor Show, it’s a safe bet they were benchmarking acceleration against a petrol model. Considering the next motor show won’t be until October 2010 in Sydney, there is a good possibility Ford will release the diesel Territory at this year’s motor show instead of releasing it throughout the year at some point or at the following Sydney motor show.

Ford Territory Diesel Spy Photographs

One thing’s certain though, it’s a needed addition to the ageing Territory lineup. There are several diesel engines on offer to Ford. A 2.7-litre turbo-diesel motor used in the Jaguar XF fits the bill, while a 4-cylinder 2.0-litre turbo-diesel from the Mondeo seems more likely.

Ford Territory Diesel Spy Photographs

Ford has recently also claimed that a revised Territory will be released to bring the interior in line with the FG range. You would assume this would also mean minor exterior revisions to spark interest, but the spy photographer claims they have seen no Territory vehicles floating around with exterior changes, but interior changes are a distinct probability.