Ford EcoSport slated to launch early 2013
American carmakers Ford gave Indian masses a first look of their latest, up-and-coming automobile tailor-made for the Indian market, the EcoSport, at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo in January. The car did manage to create a whole lot of buzz back then, and as time progressed, more details have emerged about this one of a kind off-roader from Ford’s stable. [Update (19/06/2013: Ford EcoSport to be launched on June 26)]
The compact SUV design that is somewhat unique to the EcoSport does give it a slightly different appearance from the other cars in its SUV gene pool. It’s sleek and aerodynamic rather than chunky and conspicuous, but with a 200mm ground clearance it’ll ride as well as any of the bigger SUVs out there.
The engine too is a departure from tradition. The EcoSport boasts of surprisingly diminutive one-litre, 3-cylinder ‘ecoboost’ petrol engine, but it’s been turbocharged to produce a respectable 120PS of power and 170Nm of torque. Ford claim the SUV will give 16kmpl, which is quite decent for a vehicle its size.
The car comes pre-loaded with a few toys, too. Microsoft’s SYNC voice control lets you make calls, reads out your texts, and even allows you to browse through your music collection without taking your hands off the steering or looking away from the road. The manufacturers also proudly proclaim the car contains an insane 20 different storage spaces, including an ample 346 litre boot space, air-conditioned glove box, a James Bond-esque hidden compartment under the front seat that slides in and out, and a designated space to store an umbrella!
Safety too has been looked after with the inclusion of front and side curtain airbags, ABS, traction control and ESP. The SUV also contains a hill launch assist system that helps you pull out on an incline without rolling back, and smart start, Ford’s keyless entry system that detects your proximity to the car and unlocks the door when you get close enough, and with ignition at the push of a button, keys are more of an option than a necessity in this car.
The EcoSport will also come in automatic transmission and diesel engine variants. This car is being compared with the Renault Duster due to its styling and size, but if it does fall within the expected Rs 6-10 lakh price bracket, it may well turn out to be Ford’s most successful contribution to the Indian market.