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Geneva show: Ford launches EcoSport S

EcoSport err sport?: By taking away the boot-mounted spare wheel, lowering the suspension and fitting big wheels, Ford has made a version of its Fiesta-based EcoSport SUV for the road – sort of.

EcoSport S is Ford's Fiesta-based SUV for the road

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Ford logo6 Mar 2015

FORD has unveiled a new addition to its baby SUV range at the Geneva motor show this week, with a more on-road focused EcoSport S joining the line-up alongside its softroader stablemates.

For a more rewarding on-road driving experience, the EcoSport S has a selection of more car-like features that hark back to the Fiesta on which the little SUV is based, including chassis, body and interior modifications.

At 17-inches, the new EcoSport's wheels are the same diameter as those worn by the hot Fiesta ST, and its 10mm lowered and specially tuned suspension enhance the ride and handling, says Ford.

Its “optimised” electronic stability control and power steering maps also improve on-road performance and an option to remove the rear door-mounted spare wheel further distances the EcoSport S from its more off-road looking siblings.

EcoSport S variants get a unique diffuser, black mirror caps, its black roof doesn't have the rails as fitted to the more outdoor focused versions, while rear windows get tinted privacy glass.

For the Geneva show-car, Ford dressed the debut EcoSport S in a new Deep Impact Blue paint to contrast with the black body highlights, dark-coloured wheels and aluminium look front and rear skid pans.

Inside, the EcoSport S gets more kit with a larger 4.0-inch colour screen replacing the 3.5-inch unit and its seats are partially upholstered in leather.

A standard winter pack adds a quick-clearing heated windscreen, bun-toasting heated front seats and more heaters in the door mirrors for cooler climates, while rear seat occupants benefit from heater ducting to the second-row seats.

EcoSports optioned without the rear spare wheel holder have an modified swing-gate that allows wider opening in restricted spaces.

With the arrival of the new variant, Ford says all versions of the 2015 EcoSport range also benefit from improvements to noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), a relocated handbrake lever, and the larger colour display.

Satellite navigation and a reverse camera are also on the way for the EcoSport range later in the year.

In Europe, the EcoSport S will be available with the same EcoBoost petrol and diesel engines as the standard version, all of which now comply to EU6.1 emissions standards, while the diesel gets a slight increase in power.

The new EcoSport variant is due to launch in Europe in June this year but Ford Australia has confirmed the new variant and EcoSport range updates will not be coming here.

Ford's entry into the tiny SUV market was one of the first for Australia, but since its introduction in late 2013 it has struggled against the competition with 2200 sales last year versus Holden's Trax with nearly 6000 registrations and the Nissan Juke with 2812.

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