Ford reveals EcoSport production version at Beijing Motor Show

by 23 Apr 2012

April 23: Ford has pulled the wraps off four new models, including three SUVs, at the Beijing Motor show. The move is part of the brand’s commitment to introduce 15 new vehicles to China by 2015. Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, said: “We are ready to demonstrate aggressive growth this year in China, the most exciting car market in the world."

Centre stage in Beijing is the Ford Ecosport. The Fiesta-based SUV is built in China at Ford’s Chongquin plant and will include the marque’s new turbocharged three-cylinder engine. In the Ecosport, it will produce 118bhp and 125 lb ft of torque.

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.

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. The EcoSport’s main competitors in India will include the upcoming Renault Duster, Maruti’s production version of the XA-Alpha SUV, and compact SUVs from Volkswagen and Skoda which will be unveiled in future.

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