Ford Motor Company on Wednesday previewed its all-new global vehicle dubbed the Ford EcoSport just three days before the start of the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo. Ford provided no definite launch date but said the EcoSport could go into production within the next six months.
With a sleek and edgy approach to its styling the EcoSport is aimed at young, urban buyers looking for a little more than a hatchback and a little less than a traditional SUV. The EcoSport takes Ford's 'Kinetic' design theme a step forward and accentuates key features that have defined the car's lines, the front gets an even more aggressive high-mounted trapezoidal grille between slit-eyed LED headlamps. The EcoSport takes its inspiration from previous sportier models of the Blue Oval such as the Focus RS and is definitely on its way to appeal to the tastes of many.
Under the hood is Ford's smallest ever EcoBoost engine, which the car maker is introducing in India for the first time. The 1-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine will offer the power and performance of a traditional 1.6-litre petrol engine though, with far more fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions under 140 g/km. The turbocharged mill will put out 120 PS of power and 170 Nm of torque. Ford may launch a 1.5-litre diesel spec, the same one that powers the Fiesta, in future.
India is an increasingly important auto market, and the all-new EcoSport will play a significant role in Ford's aggressive global plan to achieve a 50 percent increase in worldwide sales by mid-decade to 8 million vehicles a year. Asia Pacific and Africa is expected to deliver 60 per cent to 70 per cent of that target.
The EcoSport is the second of eight products Ford plans to bring to India by mid-decade The SUV will be built in India and Brazil and sold in nearly 100 markets worldwide. While the EcoSport's styling is bang on, its fate may well depend on the pricing, which we think could be in the Rs. 8 – 12 lakh range.
At the Expo
At Ford's stall at the Delhi Auto Expo, aside from the EcoSport, the company will also have on display the Ford Figo, the new Fiesta, the Ford Classic, and the Ford Endeavour. A major highlight will be allowing the audience to take control of the all-new Ford EcoSport, virtually. Using a motion-sensing camera, the crowd will collectively be able to control the compact SUV as it drives along the road, and unlocking information at each bend. The display will show the EcoSport on the screen, and the crowd will be prompted to lean left and right during a short drive before showing highlights of the drive and key messaging.
Ford has also set up a Figo Theatre, where customers will sit inside the car and be able to watch a film which will be played on a plasma television in front of the windscreen. The video will deliver messages on the Figo's technologies, and will allow auto show visitors to enjoy a close and personal experience with the top-selling compact. Another theatre, in 3D, will let guests don 3D goggles and navigate a virtual car interior under the guidance of a Ford engineer.
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