Ford India today unveiled its crossover the Ford EcoSport on the eve of the 2012 Auto Expo at Pragati Maidan. 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. This global compact sports utility vehicle has the same platform as the global Fiesta and is the second in the eight vehicle line-up that Ford plans to launch in India (the first was the Fiesta).
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.
It looks stunning in orange with the black detailing especially the mirror-finished black roof accent and roof rails. The chunky centre console flows in the transmission tunnel. The steering wheel looks similar to the Fiesta. In terms of space there seems to be enough in the rear to seat three passengers. The boot looks narrow but is tall so space shouldn’t be an issue. The EcoSport will have front-wheel drive for India. It will have 17-inch alloys. The suspension will be double wishbone at the front and trailing-arm at the rear. It should have disc brakes all around.
It will be powered by two engine options – a 1-litre, 3-cylinder turbo, direct injection petrol engine producing 120PS of power and 170Nm of torque. Ford has managed to keep the emissions low at 140gm/km. This EcoBoost engine was first announced at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Is this the future of engine technology? Low emissions, high torque and power from small engines. 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. The EcoSport is expected to be launched in mid-2012 and could prove to be a game changer in the Indian SUV market with its low pricing.
Image credit – AutoCarIndia