Ford EcoSport revealed

All-new compact SUV to be launched by end-2012. New cutting-edge 1.0-litre turbo-petrol and 1.5-litre diesel engines on offer.

Here are the first ever images of Ford’s all new global vehicle, the EcoSport. This next-generation compact SUV will take centre stage at Ford's high-tech interactive stand which will cover around 1,400 square metres.

The EcoSport is the latest ‘One Ford’ global product, a vehicle designed to help expand Ford's footprint in the world's fastest-growing auto markets, including India. It will be the second of eight products Ford plans to bring to India by mid-decade for which the company will invest US$ 2 billion in the development and production of the new vehicles.

Known internally as the B515, this next-generation EcoSport is built on Ford’s award-winning global compact car platform (B2E) developed with Mazda, which majors on weight saving and torsional rigidity.

Though the EcoSport shares plenty of bits with the new Fiesta saloon under the skin, it looks completely different, and you would be hard-pressed to tell that the two have anything in common.

What is plainly clear is that the design definitely has SUV written all over it. The five-door EcoSport gets chunky, technical styling, and a very space-efficient interior. A large trapezoidal front grille dominates the front end, while the front headlights are slimmer and more technical than on the Fiesta.

The lower front bumper and side sills get cladding, while there are also muscular wheel arches and a fixed spare wheel at the back to further emphasise its off-road intentions. The roof gets chrome rails and the rear side windows have the familiar Ford upwards kink in the window line.

Ford will debut a new 1.0-litre, three-cylinder, direct-injection turbo-petrol motor in the EcoSport – a world debut – that will be capable of developing power similar to a bigger, 1.6-litre motor. It will also deliver class-leading fuel economy. The car will also get the 1.5-litre diesel engine that currently does duty in the Fiesta.

The EcoSport, which cleverly combines the charm of an SUV, the frugality of small engines, cutting-edge styling and a very affordable price tag somewhere in the region of Rs 7-9 lakh, has the makings of a winner. At that price, it will provide a genuine alternative to a midsize car or even a premium hatchback.

Though the Premier Rio was technically the first compact SUV in the market, the EcoSport will be the first serious player in this virgin niche. This could give Ford a big first-mover advantage in a segment that could explode.

Checkout the Ford EcoSport gallery

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Issue: 206 | Autocar India: October 2016

A first look at the Skoda Kodiaq, Hyundai Elantra petrol-automatic vs rivals, an exclusive drive of the Bajaj Qute and lots more inside!
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