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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Mystery large Ford SUV debuts as China only Equator

What was reported to be the all-new Everest has instead been revealed as Dearborn's new top-spec made-for-China only SUV.

Ford has revealed its newest large SUV for China after its initial spotting in March ignited speculation of it possibly being the all-new Everest.

Instead, the newcomer revives the Equator name used by Suzuki between 2008 and 2012 for a rebadged version of the D40 Nissan Navara sold in North America, and by the Blue Oval themselves for a concept SUV in 2005 that morphed into the second generation Escape twelve months later.

The result of Dearborn’s partnership with the Jiangling Motors Corporation, otherwise known as JMC, the Equator slots-in above the Everest as the second Chinese specific market SUV after the reborn Territory which, unlike, the previous Falcon-based Australian made model, is based on the Yusheng S330 that caused controversy as its launch four years ago for appearing similar to the Range Rover Evoque.

Based on a unibody platform as reported, and offering seating for five, six or seven, the Equator measures 4 905 mm in overall length with a wheelbase of 2 865 mm, height of 1 755 mm and width of 1 930 mm. Wheel sizes range from 18 to 20-inches with the kerb weight being between 1 750 kg and 1 830 kg. Motivation is derived from a 2.0 EcoBoost that sends 165 kW to the rear or all four wheels via a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic gearbox. Top speed is pegged at 195 km/h.

Shown only from the outside but previewed inside thanks to the mentioned leaked images, the Equator will go on sale next year with no pricing announced so far, but as mentioned, it will be a Chinese market only model.

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