To be produced in Thailand alongside the Ford Ranger ute with which it shares its basic underpinnings, the seven-seat Everest will compete with other rough-and-ready, ute-based four-wheel-drives such as the Holden Colorado 7 and Isuzu MU-X.
The Australian-developed Ford Everest concept is making its ASEAN debut in Thailand today after premiering in Sydney about eight months ago, and while Ford Australia is yet to officially confirm the new model for our market, CarAdvice understands it remains on track to reach our shores next year, as previously reported.
Designed and engineered by Ford Australia as part of the T6 project that initially created the Ranger that launched in 2011, the car maker has previously said the Everest “shares elements” with the Ranger but will have less in common with its ute donor than the likes of the Colorado 7 and MU-X.
It will inherit at least one diesel engine from the Ranger, the 3.2-litre five-cylinder unit, which Ford’s engineers are working to make more refined.
Spy shots of a half-Ranger, half-Territory mule testing in Sweden late last month revealed disc brakes and a solid axle coil spring suspension setup at the rear, suggesting the Everest will upgrade from the ute’s drum brakes and leaf springs in the pursuit of more sophisticated and car-like handling characteristics and ride comfort.
Dubbed “a true off-roader” by Ford, the Everest will join rather than replace the Territory in the local line-up. The latter is expected to be succeeded by the next-generation Ford Edge when local production ceases in 2016.
It remains unclear just how much the production version of the Everest will have in common with the Bangkok concept, which is identical to the one shown in Sydney last year.