The facelifted Ford EcoSport is just a few months old in India, and is selling very well. Ford wants to keep the sales momentum going with new variants of the sub-4 meter SUV. Soon, the EcoSport will get sportier to drive as Ford is lining up the S-badged model for the Indian market. The EcoSport S with the 1.5-litre Dragon petrol engine will offer a 6-speed manual gearbox. It’s also likely to pack in stiffer suspension for better handling. The EcoSport S will be a top-end variant, with new features such as smoked headlamps, alloy wheels with a different design and even a sunroof.
Ford is also expected to offer the EcoSport S with the 1.5-litre turbocharged diesel engine. While the petrol motor makes 122 PS and 150 Nm, the diesel motor manages 100 PS and 215 Nm. It remains to be seen if Ford also offers the 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox option on the EcoSport S.
Generally, sport variants of cars in the affordable category don’t offer automatic variants, as enthusiasts prefer manual gearboxes on sporty cars. Anyway, the EcoSport with the new gearbox and stiff suspension is expected to be launched in India within a few weeks considering that dealers have already started getting display cars.
Competition in the sub-4 meter compact SUV space is getting intense in India. Tata Motors is all set to launch two new AMT variants of the Nexon, in petrol and diesel. While the Maruti Brezza is still the leader of the segment despite offering only a diesel engine-manual gearbox combination, real competition is for the second place, with the Nexon and EcoSport battling it out. With Tata pushing in new variants of the Nexon, Ford will have to respond with a fresher EcoSport. In the coming months, Mahindra will also join this battle with the S201, an SUV based on the Ssangyong Tivoli.