New Delhi :
Ford India today launched an all-new premium SUV Endeavour, build on a completely new platform, in two variants -- 2.2 litre and 3.2 litre engines -- with an industry-first feature of airbags for the knees.
The models are priced in the range of Rs 24.75 lakh to Rs 27.7 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai), which is marginally cheaper than its immediate competition—Fortuner from the Japanese carmaker Toyota, which is also the industry leader.
The Endeavour has been one of the successful models of the American car maker.
The company had in 2015 discontinued its earlier models, whose last variant was launched in 2009.
One of the key features of the SUV is the airbags for the knees, which is an industry first.
The new Endeavour comes with both 2-wheel and 4-wheel as well as automatic option and is assembled at its Chennai plant.
Ford India President and Managing Director Nigel Harris refused to quantify the sales target for the new model.
On the forthcoming Delhi Auto Expo, he said the company will be showcasing a new model, but declined to name it.
However, the industry is speculating that it will be the Mustang.
On the Supreme Court ban on registration of high-end diesel cars and SUVs in Delhi-NCR, he said the company will be impacted as the region constitutes 12 per cent of its premium SUV sales.
But, he was quick to note that policy makers need to find out the lasting solutions for pollution instead of bans, as automobiles contribute only 2.2 per cent of PM emissions.
Asked whether the company is ready to meet the new BS-VI emission norms set for 2020 and the incremental investment it will have to make, he did not offer a direct answer in terms of investments but said the impact on petrol engines will be minimal, adding that on diesel it will be substantial.
The new Endeavour is equipped with an advanced coil spring suspension with Watt’s linkage, and a voice message system that can take as many as 10,000 commands, including for parking.