Future Models - Ford 2012 EcoSport
Beijing show: Ford unveils production EcoSport
Bound for Oz: The Ford EcoSport will arrive in Australia in 2013.
Auto China 2012 hosts production version of Ford EcoSport mini-SUV, due here 2013
23 April 2012
FORD has unveiled the production version of its EcoSport sub-Kuga mini-SUV at Auto China 2012 in Beijing ahead of its Australian launch in the first half of next year.
Remaining faithful to the near-final concept shown at the Delhi Auto Expo in January, the all-new Fiesta-based EcoSport will also now be produced in China, with the US auto giant announcing it will build the global urban-oriented crossover at its Chongqing factory under the Changan Ford Mazda Automobile joint venture.
Earlier this month, Ford announced plans to boost passenger car production at Chongqing by 350,000 vehicles, raising its total capacity in China to 950,000 units a year by 2014.
While Ford Australia is still to confirm the production source of the EcoSport to be sold here, India and Thailand are understood to be the frontrunners.
The vehicle will also be built in Brazil, where it was designed and engineered.
As previously confirmed, the EcoSport’s launch here will mark the first application of Ford’s new 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost engine, while other powertrains including four-cylinder petrol (1.5 Ti-VCT) and diesel engines have also been developed for the vehicle.
The British-developed 1.0-litre turbocharged triple produces 88kW of power and 170Nm of torque in the EcoSport – enough for Ford to claim it delivers performance to match a traditional 1.6-litre petrol engine – but is also capable of emitting less than 140 grams of CO2 per kilometre when paired with the standard five-speed manual gearbox.
The production version of the SUV emerged at the Beijing show this week with a drag coefficient of 0.365Cd, which according to Ford contributes to the vehicle’s excellent (though still to be specified) fuel economy.
The company also says an impression of “perceived efficiency” is created with elements such as the short bonnet and flowing A-pillars.
Other design points of interest include the aggressive lower grille section, long and narrow headlamps, and blackened-out B-pillars and tinted side windows that aim to convey a “clean, robust profile”.
The production version also maintains the concept’s large wrap-around rear window and oblique tail-lights, along with a swing-out tailgate on which the spare wheel is mounted.
The range-topping Titanium model was showcased in Beijing, bearing ‘Mars Red’ exterior paintwork, 16-inch alloy wheels, chrome grille treatment and rear parking sensors.
The Titanium cabin has dark tones with contrasting silver detailing, a power start button, climate-control air-conditioning (with pollen filter), no fewer than 20 storage locations (including a cooled bin in the glovebox), soft-touch materials throughout, a centre-mounted 3.5-inch LCD screen (linked to Ford’s ‘Sync’ driver connect system with voice control), CD/MP3 stereo, Bluetooth, iPod connectivity and USB/aux slots.
Ford claims the EcoSport has an excellent level of cabin refinement due to high torsional strength in the body, and low NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) levels, while “superior safety” is said to be achieved with systems such as dual front and side curtain airbags, hill-start assist and electronic stability control.
Other features on the vehicle shown in Beijing include a perimeter alarm, keyless entry and a rear seat that can recline and has a quick-fold system to extend the cargo bay.
Ford Motor Company group vice-president of global product development Raj Nair said: “The all-new EcoSport is designed and engineered specifically for customers in global growth markets using Ford’s global SUV engineering expertise and reflecting our commitments for quality, leading fuel economy, safety and smart technology.
“We’re delivering innovative products like this to drive our global growth.”