The Ford EcoSport crossover has broken cover at the New Delhi Auto Expo, and the mini SUV will spearhead Ford’s efforts to expand its market presence in India, South America, and Southeast Asia. Will we get it here? No. But that doesn’t reduce the EcoSport’s global significance for Ford.
Most cars sold in India are B-segment cars or smaller, and Ford India wants a bigger piece of that expanding market. Introducing a small, tough vehicle with decent ground clearance that appeals to both urbanites and rural dwellers should help. This is actually the second-generation EcoSport, but its predecessor didn’t migrate far outside of Brazil—where it’s quite popular—in significant numbers.
To do battle everywhere from tight urban confines to battered back roads, Ford gave the high-riding EcoSport tough styling, tidy dimensions, and an efficient powertrain. Putting aside some of its show car flourishes, the compact trucklet looks like an embryonic 2013 Escape with a big mouth—so it’s rather attractive. We especially dig the neat tailgate-mounted spare tire. The EcoSport utilizes Ford’s B-segment platform, which also underpins the Fiesta and the B-Max, and is powered by the company’s new 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost engine. The turbocharged, direct-injected engine squeezes out 118 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque, and is mated to a five-speed manual transmission.
Ford plans to build the EcoSport in India and Brazil initially, but will expand production to other markets in the future. Even though the EcoSport was conceived under Ford’s new global One Ford strategy, there are no plans to bring the small crossover to our shores—at least as the sum of its parts. The 1.0-liter EcoBoost is coming to the U.S. and will definitely be available in a Fiesta and perhaps the larger Focus.
Text Source: Car & Driver