In what appears to be a confirmation of rumours dating back to earlier this year, a weekend report from India has claimed that Ford’s incoming C-segment SUV could be spun off the Chinese market Territory following the Blue Oval’s partnership termination with Mahindra.
Known internally as C757, the Indian-built newcomer was to make use of the same platform as the incoming all-new Mahindra XUV500, but will now be developed in-house powered by a range of EcoBoost petrol and EcoBlue turbodiesel engines instead of the Mahindra sourced ones.
According to Autocar India, the still unnamed SUV will be styled by Pininfarina, provide seating for seven and ride on the underpinnings of the Territory which, unlike the Australian-made Ford Falcon based original produced from 2004 to 2016, is derived from the Range Rover Evoque-inspired Yusheng S330 that is produced in partnership with China’s Jiangling Motors Corporation (JMC) and which recently touched down in select South American markets.
Production is expected to take place at either the Blue Oval’s Chennai or Sanand plants with sales commencing next year and not this year as a result of the end of the joint venture that would’ve resulted in not only it, but also a new Ford badged B-segment SUV and Mahindra’s 1.2 T-GDI petrol engine underneath the bonnet of the EcoSport.
Aside from the markets mentioned and despite Ford being mum at present, the C757 could well be in line for South Africa to replace the Kuga whose tenure ended last month along with the EcoBoost-powered Mustang.
Purely speculative at present, the Blue Oval’s prior comments of committing to the segment now vacated by the Kuga has stirred-up rumours of it possibly making the C757 available in South Africa above the EcoSport, which, along with the Figo, are both sourced from India and therefore made with right-hand drive.
Nothing has been confirmed or even mentioned by Ford Motor Company Southern Africa regarding the C757, but don’t be surprised if details emerge over the coming months leading up the model’s eventual reveal and name confirmation.