Ford will likely launch a Fiesta based compact SUV to called the EcoSport (code name: B515) in early 2012. There are speculations that the Eco Sport will have a length of less than four meters in order to qualify as a small car as per government norms.

The Eco Sport 5-seater will likely have a starting price of Rs. 6 lakh to Rs. 7 lakh and could go up to Rs. 10 lakh for the top-end variant. When launched, the Ec Sport will have virtually no competition apart from the Premier Rio.


ford ecosport 2012

Photo:The upcoming Ecosport SUV is expected to look a lot like the Fiesta sedan

Looks and Features

Sharing the ‘B’ platform on which the Fiesta hatchback (international model) sits, the Eco Sport will also have design elements that resemble the Fiesta. The Eco Sport will likely have chrome inserts on the front grille, a headlamp cluster similar to the new Fiesta sedan and triangular fog lamps. As expected from SUVs, the Eco Sport will likely have large wheels, flared wheel arches and high ground clearance for occasional off-road adventures. Also read: Ford Fiesta automatic: First drive

The Eco Sport may have interiors similar to the Fiesta, but in order to price it aggressively, Ford my strip off gizmos like the voice activated controls offered in the sedan. Expect decent headroom, legroom and shoulder room while the boot space will likely be more than what is offered in premium hatchbacks.

ford ecosport rendering

Photo: This is a rendering of the Ford Ecosport, the production version may take cues from this

Engines

The Eco Sport is expected to get engines from the Figo and the new Fiesta sedan. The Eco Sport petrol version may be powered by a 1.2-litre engine that powers the Figo petrol. This engine makes 71 bhp of power and 102 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission and has ARAI-certified mileage of 15.6 kmpl.

The Eco Sport diesel version may be powered by a 1.5-litre engine that powers the Fiesta sedan. This 1.5-litre motor is turbocharged and inter-cooled and puts out 89.7 bhp of maximum power and 204 Nm of maximum torque. This engine too is mated to a 5-speed transmission and gives a mileage of 23.5 km/litre as per ARAI ratings.

The Eco Sport will come under the American car maker’s ‘One Ford’ strategy in which the company makes products for the global market rather than for specific markets. Hence, like the Figo the Eco Sport too will likely be manufactured at Ford’s Chennai plant and exported to South Africa and other Asia-Pacific markets.  Do you think the Eco Sport can attract buyers of premium hatchbacks or entry sedans in India?

(Photo courtesy: autoexpress.co.uk)