Ford Territory Liquid LPG - thunder Down Under
The exclusive-to-Australia car has been enjoying extra attention from Orbital Autogas lately. It was not long ago that the previous generation model, codenamed the SX, was optionally given a bigger, 64-litre cylindrical autogas tank and then, once the new SZ model debuted, it also received the LPG treatment. According to Orbital's engineers, the calibration process was somewhat more difficult than the predecessor's, but after 20 thousand km of tests and improvements they managed to achieve what they say will give the diesel version a run for its money.
The system used on the latest Territory has been officialy certified by Ford, so now it can be ordered at the showroom as an upgrade option. It promises to cut the fuel bill without cutting the petrol original's performance. And as the SX was, the SZ is also offered with the optional 64-litre cylindrical tank, giving the SUV by 30% higher range than the standard 49-litre donut-shaped tank (both capacities are net ones). Interestingly, no boot capacity is compromised, as the cylinder (just like the donut) is placed underneath the car, at where the spare wheel used to be. The wheel itself gets moved to a special rack in the trunk (having been previously put in a protective cover) or gotten rid off completely in favour of a tyre saver kit. As for the filler valve, it is located conveniently under the petrol filler flap.
The diesel version of the Territory has something to think and worry about. The liquid LPG injection model might be more expensive than the basic petrol variant, but it is still cheaper than the oil burner – both in terms of purchase and running costs (even if it nominally uses more fuel). Moreover, the autogas-powered Territory, like the petrol one, is more powerful than the diesel, which many drivers will enjoy. And on top of all that, the buyer is eligible for the 1000-dollar government rebate, paid for both converting a used car or buying a new one equipped with an LPG system. Advantages far as the eye can see!
And now for something not so completely different: even though the conversion kit for the SZ Ford Territory has been prepared by Australia's Orbital Autogas, the system is in fact none other than Vialle's (of Holland) LPi (Liquid Propane injection). This is hardly surprising, though, since Ford and Vialle have been cooperating since the days when no-one even dreamt of a liquid state LPG injection system. Let us only wish similar solutions eventually became as popular in Europe as they are Down Under.
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