The next-generation Ford EcoSport is all set to see some major divergence, between what is offered in emerging markets such as India and Brazil, and that served up for developed markets such as Europe and he United States. The Euro-spec model of the EcoSport is expected to share its platform with the Ford Fiesta, and is likely to be a more crossover-ish vehicle, or a ‘raised hatchback’ if you will. For the developing world, including India, the next-gen EcoSport could get butch styling, similar to what’s on offer with the current version. Here’s an IAB render that shows what the India-spec, next-gen Ford EcoSport could look like.
As the render indicates, the next-gen Ford EcoSport is expected to evolve from the current version, but the platform it’ll use will be totally different. Mahindra has tied up with Ford for a broad range of goals that include joint development of new vehicles, particularly SUVs. There’s a sub-4 meter SUV that’s a part of this agreement, and the next-gen Ford EcoSport is expected to use the X100 platform that the Mahindra XUV300 is based on. Originally developed by Ssangyong, the X100 platform also underpins the Tivoli, a global compact SUV from the South Korean automaker.
Sharing the X100 platform with the Mahindra XUV300 will allow Ford India to pare down development costs for the new EcoSport to the bare minimum. This will allow for a competitive price tag, extensive parts sharing, and also lower spare part costs. All in all, it’s a win-win for both Ford and Mahindra. Ford for its part, is likely to be involved in including the Ford ‘Driver’s DNA’ into the new EcoSport, apart from the overall design of course. Also, the American car maker is expected to give the new EcoSport traits that buyers typically associate with the Ford brand – solid build, no compromise safety, cutting edge features and a fun-to-drive character.
The engines on the new EcoSport could be borrowed from the Mahindra XUV300 as well. Currently, the XUV300 is the segment leader in terms of engine outputs. The 1.2 liter turbo petrol it is powered with makes 110 Bhp-200 Nm, with the torque number being a class leading output – a full 15 % more than its competitors. Similarly, the diesel makes more power and torque than all other offerings, with the 1.5 liter turbocharged motor making 115 Bhp-300 Nm. While a 6 speed manual gearbox is currently standard on the XUV300, Mahindra is said to be working on a 6 speed AMT option for both the petrol and diesel motors. These gearboxes are also expected to be offered in the new EcoSport. Watch this space as we closely track developments regarding the Ford best-seller’s next-generation model.