In addition to Australia, the Ford Everest will be available in eight other Asia Pacific markets: China, New Zealand, India, and others across the ASEAN region, with Sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa to follow later in 2015.
"The new Ford Everest is an exceptionally versatile vehicle, equally prepared for the everyday commute as it is for the most extreme off-road terrain," said Dave Schoch, president, Ford Asia Pacific. "The Everest's unique blend of tough capability and exceptional comfort is going to resonate with drivers across Asia Pacific and around the world."
Larger than the Territory, the Everest is actually built off the same platform as the Ranger dual-cab ute, with what Ford calls "a rugged, sculptural design that reflects its unshakeable toughness and technological prowess", with "strength, smart features and style to bring consumers a tough and versatile SUV with true off-road capability".
In addition, Ford claims the new Everest embodies Ford's fun-to-drive DNA to deliver rewarding and dynamic on-road handling, offering no compromises on refinement and comfort. The Everest will be available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive variants depending on specific market demand - Australia is likely to get both options.
"The Ford Everest will help to expand our product footprint in the region with a tough and refined vehicle that enables drivers, their families, friends and colleagues to go anywhere comfortably - whether on urban roads or far off the beaten track," said Trevor Worthington, vice president, Product Development, Ford Asia Pacific.
"From the EcoSport to the Everest, our SUV portfolio in Asia Pacific offers something for everyone.
"The new Ford Everest represents an epic commitment on the part of the Ford Motor Company to meet and exceed high customer expectations.
"From the very beginning we set aggressive targets, and with the Ford Everest we have truly raised the bar for this type of vehicle in design and capability, with advanced technologies for a smarter, safer and more capable vehicle at a very attractive price."
Balancing rugged off-road and refined on-road capability
The new Ford Everest was designed from the ground up with the durability to take on the most inhospitable environments. One of the toughest SUVs in its segment, the Ford Everest has a true body-on-frame design, assuring the torsional strength required for challenging terrains. Together with an intelligent four-wheel drive system, an active transfer case with Torque on Demand, Terrain Management System, and best-in-class ground clearance of 225 mm and water-wading capability of 800 mm, the Ford Everest helps drivers navigate difficult terrain with ease.
For ultimate capability, the advanced Terrain Management System gives drivers four preset settings - Normal, Snow/Gravel/Grass, Sand and Rock- that alter the vehicle's throttle response, transmission, intelligent four-wheel drive system and traction control to confidently tackle any situation. For extreme off-road environments, drivers can manually lock the transfer case in low-range four-wheel drive mode for increased control.
These impressive off-road credentials are paired to a new level of ride quality and dynamic handling beyond what consumers have come to expect in a rugged SUV. Thanks to its coil spring front and rear suspension and a Watt's linkage on the rear axle, the new Ford Everest provides a comfortable, stable ride with agile and predictable handling on the road, keeping the promise of Ford's fun-to-drive DNA.
Advanced technology for a smarter, safer drive
Ingeniously packaged with "up for it" functionality enabling extraordinary journeys, the new Ford Everest is one of the most technologically advanced off-road SUVs ever made, and builds on Ford's global expertise in the utility segment.
The latest generation of Ford's in-car connectivity solution, SYNC 2, lets drivers use natural voice commands to control the car's entertainment system, climate controls and connected mobile devices more easily than ever before. SYNC 2 also boasts an 8-inch touchscreen with color-coded corners for easy menu navigation.
The new Ford Everest also offers a number of segment-first technologies, including Curve Control, designed to help drivers maintain control when approaching turns too quickly; Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keeping Aid, two technologies that help prevent drivers from unintentionally drifting out of a lane; and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross Traffic Alert, which informs drivers when there is a vehicle in their blind spot while driving or when preparing to reverse out of parking spots.
The vehicle also offers other advanced features, including Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Alert with Collision Mitigation, Roll Stability Control and an Electronic Stability Program that works with traction control to help the driver stay in control. To reduce parking anxiety, Active Park Assist enables drivers to parallel park hands-free, requiring only accelerating, shifting and braking from the driver.
In addition to advanced active safety systems, a strong passenger cage built using high-strength materials like boron steel, and passive safety features, including seven airbags, help to keep occupants safe in the event of a collision.
Power and efficiency to go further
The incredible capabilities of the new Ford Everest are made possible by one of three petrol and diesel engines, mated to durable and efficient six-speed automatic or manual transmissions. While availability differs across markets, all three engines deliver uncompromised power and torque with excellent fuel efficiency:
A new 2.0-liter four-cylinder twin-scroll EcoBoost petrol engine will debut in Asia Pacific in the Ford Everest, offering excellent torque, power and refinement combined with projected best-in-class fuel economy and carbon dioxide emissions
For maximum power and torque for heavy-duty towing, Ford is offering the latest generation of its globally proven 3.2-liter Duratorq five-cylinder TDCi diesel engine, with upgrades including an updated exhaust gas recirculation system to boost efficiency. For maximum fuel economy without compromising performance, Ford is also offering the latest generation of the 2.2-liter Duratorq four-cylinder TDCi diesel.
"This engine line-up demonstrates Ford's commitment to offering the power of choice to customers in different markets with different needs and preferences," said Worthington. "We've selected the engine technologies from Ford's global powertrain range that deliver the best combination of performance and efficiency to meet and exceed the demanding requirements of SUV customers."
Smart and functional design
The new Ford Everest stands apart with a bold, sculptural design that communicates its impressive capabilities and advanced smart features, while the robust front end with signature LED daytime running lights and wide stance make for a powerful presence on the road. The chiseled and technical design is also highly efficient - extensive aerodynamic testing led to an exterior that seamlessly melds form and function.
The new Ford Everest's bold exterior presence is paired with a modern interior that makes use of refined materials and emphasizes horizontal lines to create a comfortable, harmonious environment for up to seven adult occupants. Interior features balance ride comfort with ultimate practicality, including a large moon roof, a convenient powered liftgate, more than 30 cleverly designed stowage spaces, multiple power outlets in the first and second rows, and flexible seating and cargo arrangements - including fold-flat second- and third-row seating - to achieve a perfect balance between passenger demands and packing efficiency.
To ensure exceptional cabin quietness, Ford equipped the new Ford Everest with Active Noise Cancellation technology in addition to optimizing cabin sealing and sound absorbing materials throughout the vehicle.
Similar to the systems used in noise-cancelling headphones, Active Noise Cancellation uses three strategically placed microphones inside the cabin to detect and measure sounds. A smart control module instantaneously generates opposing sound waves, which are then fed through the Everest's audio system to cancel out unpleasant noises. The result is a quiet interior that lets the driver comfortably speak with third row passengers without shouting.
"With its safe and smart features, a refined interior and incredible on-road and off-road capabilities, the new Ford Everest sets a new standard in the medium SUV segment and represents a compelling addition to our global lineup of SUVs in Asia Pacific," said Worthington.
"Taking advantage of our global design and development expertise, and our proud heritage in the utility segment, we've created a vehicle that goes far beyond customer expectations."
The Everest will be manufactured at AutoAlliance Thailand in Rayong, Thailand, for ASEAN markets. In China, the new Ford Everest will be manufactured by Ford's Jiangling Motors Corp (JMC) joint venture at the JMC Xiaolan Plant in Nanchang, China, and distributed through JMC's Ford-brand network of dealers.
Editor's note: Specific feature availability varies by market.