The Ford Fiesta has not been performing in line with the company’s expectations, but the American auto giant is planning a strong comeback with its new Ford EcoSport, details of which has not been revealed, till date.
The vehicle is known in internal circles as B515, the new Ford EcoSport is expected to be unveiled at the Auto Expo 2012, which will be followed by its launch in Brazil. The present Ford EcoSport has significant popularity in Brazil and Ford believes that since India has nearly the same market dynamics as that country, the car should do well here as well.
Built on Ford’s famous B2E platform and developed jointly with Mazda, who specialize in torsion rigidity and weight saving, wide ranging body styles can be made on it.
The Ford EcoSport has some distinct similarities with the Ford Fiesta Saloon internally, though you will be hard-pressed to find any similarities looking at the two vehicles from outside. The EcoSport, many might feel, could be termed a soft-roader; but it is actually a less than four-meter car having hatchback dimensions, along with a spare wheel mounted on the tail-gate that makes it cross the four-meter figure. Regulations do not include spare tyres while considering the car dimensions; Ford has been aptly able to use this rule to their advantage.
The Ford EcoSport is a SUV totally given its erect stance, large ground clearance with high bonnet, but then again, it has a fresh and bold design and has good proportions. The nose sports an attractive reverse ‘V’ and the stance is tipped forward slightly, making it look ready to pounce into action. Watching the car from its rear also attracts you, the windscreen is pillar less with tail lights sharply cut. Large wheels to the tune of 16” to 17” have been planned for the Indian version of the EcoSport.
The DNA of the Fiesta incorporated inside guarantees that the Ford EcoSport would have SUV like feel, simultaneously, the impressive ground clearance provided, makes it an ideal vehicle for pot-holed roads. Inside room is limited however compared to the Fiesta with passengers having to sit at considerable height from the floor.
The EcoSport will make use of the newly introduced diesel engine 90bhp, 1.5L DV5; also power has been tweaked higher to make this heavy vehicle perform adequately. However, significant rise in power cannot be expected due to the IB5 gearbox, adopted from the Ford Fiesta, which is not capable to handle high torque, a possible limitation for this vehicle. The car will be a front-wheel drive only, 4 x 4 option has not been kept.
The Ford EcoSport has everything required to conquer the market: flair an SUV possesses, practicality of using Diesel, great styling and a competitive price tag within Rs 7-9 lakh.
The EcoSport enters into a virgin market and can use this fact to strengthen its base, so a winner from Ford is foreseen; auto lovers could see this car rule the roads of India in 2012.