Ford EcoSport debuts in India as 2012 model
Most of you, probably wouldn’t have heard of Ford EcoSport in your entire lives. That’s primarily because, this model was made and sold in Brazil, and sales were focused only in certain South American countries. At this year’s New Delhi Auto Show, Ford debuted the second generation of the EcoSport in near-production concept form, in a bid to expand Ford’s market presence in India and other emerging markets.
The EcoSport is basically a Fiesta with higher ground clearance and designed to act as a mini SUV, similar to the Nissan Juke or Daihatsu Terios. The vehicle borrows many cues from its siblings, namely Ford Fiesta and upcoming Ford Escape. Styling is incorporated with Ford’s Kinetic design theme, and follows the trend that has been highly prevalent in their new models. The EcoSport has an aggressive and sleeker design compared to the Fiesta, complete with a high-mounted trapezoidal grille (looks like a big mouth!) and distinct LED headlamps. The rear has a tailgate-mounted spare tyre but still doesn’t hide the borrowed cues.
Talking about the mechanics, the EcoSport is designed on Ford’s own B-segment platform. Since majority of these countries have tough rural areas and poor road networks, designers have claimed that they strengthened the body, tweaked the suspension for heavy duty work and improved road clearance. It’s going to be manufactured in India and Brazil.
The biggest surprise is the engine. Ford has utilised their new unique-but-controversial 1.0-litre 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine. To crank up the power from the small engine, the unit is turbocharged, and has direct-injection, squeezing out a rather impressive 118 hp and 163 Nm of torque, while mated to a 5-speed manual transmission.
The vehicle will head to 100 markets globally in the future and so you can expect it in the GCC in a few years. Since Ford has plans to make 85% of their cars run on EcoBoost engines by 2014, we may be lucky enough to get the same 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine, or else, we may have to be content with the same options as the Fiesta sold here.