|LED headlamps and inverted trapezodial grille – Great styling!|
Ford India captivated the Indian masses at the 2012 Delhi Auto expo by presenting its EcoSport concept. Donning a cool orange metallic paint with some chrome garnish, the concept was nothing less than a show stoper on a ramp.This is the second generation concept model and the company intends to make it a ‘global car’.
Since 2003, the EcoSport has been a popular ‘Ford’ in Brazil, rivaling Fiat Palio Adventure and VW CrossFox. India has similiar market dynamics to Brazil, the company is hoping to replicate that success here. Unlike its predecessor, the new generation EcoSport is built on the award-winning Fiesta B-Platform (Global compact car platform). This means the new Fiesta saloon is required to share plenty of bits with the EcoSport, in addition to the much-awaited Fiesta hatch, in India.
But it looks completely different from the Fiesta, thanks to its sub-four metre hatchback dimensions, taller stance and hatch-mounted spare wheel. The unboxy styling is friendly, engaging and contemporary. The production model is expected to be much simpler that the concept, obvious to miss full LED headlamps, inverted trapezodial grille and the smarted under-skirt treatments. A high driving position, right size and shape for traffic and parking and fuel-efficiency makes that car a perfect ‘urban SUV’. The tall stance and high ground clearance will be perfect for Indian roads. The Fiesta’s DNA will ensure a car-like ride and handling, very much unlike SUV.
|Hatch-mounted spare wheel – Nice attempt!|
The amazing fact lies in its fuel efficiency. The new EcoSport will be powered by the Ford’s EcoBoost powertrain (smallest of the lot and first of its kind in India) – 1.0 litre 3-cylinders turbo-charged petrol engine. It produces similiar outputs of a conventional 1.6 litre engine while returning better gas mileage than a naturally aspirated 1.0 litre block – a technology capable of doing a miracle! The 90hp, 1.5-litre DuraTorq diesel from the new Fiesta, which is decent in performance and efficiency, will also be offered.
The new EcoSport might start a compact SUV revolution in India. It cleverly combines the compactness of a hatchback, space and no-nonsense character of a saloon and the charm of an SUV. Though the Premier Rio is the first compact SUV in India theoritically, the EcoSport will be the first serious player. But the competition does not rest here, at the time of its launch, many other mini SUVs or compact UVs such as the Renault Duster, Mahindra Xylo Mini, Maruti Jimny, etc. may also enter the fray. Similiar pricing may also tag some MUVs such as the Maruti Ertiga and Nissan’s.