Encore crossover, I wondered if Ford was reconsidering the EcoSport for the US. Evidently, the answer is yes. As Ford's Jim Farley told Automotive News, "We certainly have that ability. We're studying it very, very closely." The EcoSport is a sub-compact 'ute that is based on the Fiesta and uses the various Fiesta gas and diesel engines and transmissions including Ford's "International Engine of the Year" the 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost engine (which will join Ford's US line up in the future). Some changes might have to be made for the US (I'm not sure if the spare on the tailgate is still legal), but for the most part the EcoSport looks ready to go. Ford will probably sell a lot of EcoSports around the globe (it's already very popular in Brazil). Let's hope that US consumers will have another small 'ute to consider besides the popular Buick (yes it is selling well here). More to come... Two press releases (Europe and India), pics and an intro video after the jump.
Source: Ford/Automotive News (sub. req.) - Press releases (2) and video after the jump. Previous post.
All-New EcoSport for Europe Debuts at Geneva Motor Show; Offers Rugged SUV Appeal, Flexibility, and Practicality
- Ford today reveals the European version of the all-new EcoSport at the Geneva Motor Show as it delivers on its product-led transformation; compact and agile SUV offers space, modern design and smart technology
- EcoSport in Europe will offer a range of efficient powertrains, including the 125 PS 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine -- International Engine of the Year -- a 110 PS 1.5-litre petrol engine, and a 90 PS 1.5-litre diesel engine expected to deliver class-leading fuel efficiency.
- Ford’s expanding European SUV range now includes the recently launched all new Kuga; with all-new EcoSport to follow at the end of 2013, and later the next generation Ford Edge
Built on Ford’s global B-segment platform, the compact EcoSport will deliver the agility and fuel efficiency of a small family car with the flexibility, spaciousness, high driving position, and go anywhere appeal of an SUV.
EcoSport joins the recently-launched Ford Kuga, as Ford builds on its SUV heritage with plans to sell one million SUVs in Europe over the next six years. Ford also plans to bring to Europe the next generation Ford Edge, a larger and more premium utility vehicle popular in the U.S. and other markets.
The all-new EcoSport will offer a range of efficient powertrains, including the 125 PS 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine -- International Engine of the Year -- a 110 PS 1.5-litre petrol engine, and a 90 PS 1.5-litre diesel engine expected to deliver class-leading fuel efficiency.
“All-new Ford EcoSport for Europe is extremely economical, flexible and stylish, and will – alongside the new B-MAX compact multi-activity vehicle, the best-selling Fiesta and all-new Tourneo Courier – complete a comprehensive small car line-up for Europe,” said Nick FitzGerald, chief programme engineer, EcoSport.
EcoSport is the first Ford global model to be developed entirely in South America. Originally introduced in 2003, the groundbreaking first model established a new segment and has gone on to sell more than 700,000 units in the region. The new model was launched in Brazil in September last year and is expected to help drive further growth for Ford in both India and China after being introduced in those markets later this year.
The all-new EcoSport will be the second SUV to be launched in Ford’s expanding European range when it goes on sale later this year; following the recently-launched Ford Kuga. Ford also plans to bring to Europe the next generation Ford Edge, a larger and more premium utility vehicle popular in the U.S. and other markets. Ford also will begin production of Explorer seven-seat SUV in Russia later this year.
The EcoSport’s distinctive silhouette has been shaped to enhance fuel efficiency. The compact SUV’s large front grille, short bonnet and raked front pillars, deliver a sporty and contemporary feel, and angular headlamps reinforce the modern look.
EcoSport will also be equipped with SYNC, Ford’s voice-activated in-car connectivity system. As a first in Europe, the Ford SYNC AppLink system will offer drivers voice control of mobile apps on the move, including the leading music streaming service Spotify. Also, Ford SYNC with Emergency Assistance will directly connect the vehicle occupants to local emergency services operators after an accident, in the correct language for the region.
EcoSport also will offer a comprehensive package of driver assistance technologies including Electronic Stability Program and Hill Launch Assist.
“The EcoSport has already achieved iconic status in South America,” added FitzGerald. “EcoSport for Europe builds on that success and brings this attractive car to the European consumers.”
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 171,000 employees and about 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.
Ford of Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 50 individual markets and employs approximately 47,000 employees at its wholly owned facilities and approximately 69,000 people when joint ventures and unconsolidated businesses are included. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 24 manufacturing facilities (15 wholly owned or consolidated joint venture facilities and nine unconsolidated joint venture facilities). The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. European production started in 1911.
Muscular and Classy, All-New Ford EcoSport Serves up A Contemporary and Dynamic Design
- Wearing a dynamic design form language, the all-new Ford EcoSport conveys a spirit of energy in motion with its sculpted bodylines, high-mounted trapezoidal grille, and slim headlamps
- The contemporary interior appeals to the senses with its soft-touch fabrics as well as superior quality and craftsmanship
- Not only are the seats on the Ford EcoSport soft enough for comfort and firm enough for long journeys, but the rear seats can also be folded and tumbled for class-leading cargo space
The all-new EcoSport provides roomy space for five, a high driving position with outstanding visibility, a refined cabin environment engineered for quiet operation, carefully selected and matched materials, and a modern design ethos. It all adds up to make the Ford EcoSport a compelling alternative to the run-of-the-mill compact car.
“The all-new Ford EcoSport was designed for, and around, the customer,” said Ehab Kaoud, chief designer, Car Exteriors, Ford North America, who led the design of the compact urban SUV. “The choice of materials and the execution of the design elements were all made with the end user in mind.
“We designed the Ford EcoSport to go where you need it to be as you progress through the adventure of life. It is the urban SUV you will be proud to drive and own.”
At first glance, the distinctive and aerodynamic Ford EcoSport looks like it’s ready to pounce. The fluid, dynamic and refined lines of the compact SUV are clearly defined by Ford’s global design language.
A wide hood sweeps into sculpted bodylines, conveying a dynamic spirit of energy in motion. Modern, slim headlamps frame a high-mounted trapezoidal grille which gives the Ford EcoSport an element of pride and a signature Ford face. The lines of the headlamps stretch towards the rear, allowing the air to flow around them and improving the SUV’s aerodynamics. At the same time, the dynamic line that stretches from the hood to the A-pillar adds to the urban SUV’s contemporary appearance.
Moving to the side, blacked out B-pillars unify the windows into one elegant shape. The muscular beltline, formed by the windows and door creases, ascends as it runs to the rear of the car, adding to the sense of movement on the vehicle.
At the back, the large rear window wraps around to the sides along with oblique tail lamps. To keep the rear profile sleek, the tailgate handle was built into the tail lamp. A small black access button on the tailgate handle can be used to unlock the boot.
The spare tyre, with an exclusively designed wheel, is mounted on the tailgate as a classic SUV cue, as well as for practical reasons. This results in more available cargo space in the vehicle, and makes it easier for customers to lift heavy loads into the vehicle over the lower bumper.
In India, the Ford EcoSport will be available in an exciting rainbow of seven colours – Mars Red, Kinetic Blue, Sea Grey, Moondust Silver, Panther Black, Diamond White, and Chill.
The inside of the all-new Ford EcoSport follows the contemporary and creative lines on the outside. Controls and knobs are ergonomically placed while soft-touch fabrics, tight gaps and the global Ice Blue dashboard illumination all reinforce superior quality and craftsmanship.
The design team paid great attention to the smallest details inside the cabin, from seat fabrics to the grain on the door trim, to create an interior that appeals to the senses. If you look at the grain up close on the instrument panel and door trim, you’ll see little squares of varying sizes breaking up the uniformity and monotony of the dots. Inspired by cellular structures in plants, and named Squareflec, this grain gives the interior a very modern look.
The designers have also used insert fabrics with distinctive textures on the seats to differentiate one series from another. On the Ambiente series, they worked around the theme of “Techtronics” and included a fabric with a metallic yarn which gives the cloth more depth and a high-tech look. The colour and trim team named the fabric Patna after the capital of the Indian state of Bihar.
On the Trend series, the team was guided by the idea of “Modular” with geometric shapes. Part of the seat fabric is a circular knit called Beijin, inspired by China. The insert fabric, called Dali and inspired by India, is specially embossed to give the cloth a three-dimensional feel.
There are two options on the Titanium series – cloth and leather. For the cloth seats, the designers went for the motif of “Clay Art”, referencing painted pottery in China and Brazil. They used a microfiber fabric called Shanghai after China’s most populated city. Microfiber fabrics are extremely comfortable and easy to care for because they are water-repellent and resistant to stains. For customers opting for leather, the seats are clothed in premium Torino leather with contrasting Cabernet Red stitching.
Soft enough for comfort and firm enough for longer journeys, the seats on the all-new Ford EcoSport have been designed using Ford global standards which have been refined after intensive anatomical research. Customers will feel as though the seat is wrapping around them. The engineers shaped the seat contours to give enough support for the thighs and from the lower back to the upper back. They focused on giving the hips more support as that will help keep the driver stable in the seat instead of sliding around in it when taking corners or changing lanes at high speeds.
The high position of the driver’s seat offers good visibility as well as easy and comfortable access to the panel's controls. The driver’s seat has four-way adjustment, along with lumbar support that can be customized to the exact millimetre to provide the precise lower back support that the driver needs. The anatomical cut-outs and side bolsters add to the ergonomics of the comfortable seat.
The rear seats are what set the all-new Ford EcoSport apart from its competitors. Unlike typical cars that use shoulder strikers to support the rear seat, the urban SUV has a free-standing rear seat. This means that passengers at the back can recline their seat for greater comfort.
Alternatively, if customers need more cargo space, they can adjust the rear seat back forward, or just fold and tumble the entire seat up for a flat load floor and class-leading cargo area. With the shingle head restraints, the driver doesn’t even have to remove them before tumbling the seats. And for those who want to carry both passengers and cargo, the rear seat in the Trend series and up can facilitate that by splitting 60:40.
The engineers reinforced the rear seats and the floor with high-strength steel to meet the strictest global safety standards. And all the seats have been tested to the max for durability, strength, stress as well as comfort to ensure that they have just the right level of support to cushion and hold the occupants even after extended use.