Ford EcoSport is actually one of the vehicles that kick-started the trend for compact SUVs in the country and ever since then, the popularity for such vehicles have kept on increasing in India. It is also one of the best selling models for Ford in India. Ford is now working on the next generation of the EcoSport and sources suggest that the next-gen EcoSport is likely to be called Puma.
The Ecosport’s successor will be based on the new International Fiesta platform and is likely to have a similar design as that of the hatchback. The new EcoSport has been caught testing many times under heavy camouflage. Ford might showcase their new SUV at the upcoming Frankfurt Auto Show in September.
Talking about the design language, the new SUV gets a dropping roofline that gives it an aggressive look. It would get a sleeker looking headlamps and LED tail lamps. Another change that can be expected in the new SUV is that it might not have a spare wheel mounted on the tail gate like the current generation Ford EcoSport.
The current Ford EcoSport has been a big success in emerging markets such as India and Latin America. However, the compact SUV has been a slow seller for Ford in developed markets including North America and Europe. The shift from the SUV stance to the crossover stance for the next-generation EcoSport seems to be a tactic employed by Ford in order to make the vehicle more popular in developed markets. It remains to be seen how emerging markets react to the new design though as it has none of the butch-ness associated with the EcoSport nameplate.
What also remains to be seen is whether Ford will have two designs for the new EcoSport – a butch version for emerging markets including India and a crossover-ish version for developed markets. This also explains the new name that’s doing the rounds for the next-gen EcoSport.
The next-generation EcoSport will continued to be powered by a 1.5L Dragon series engine which is BS VI compliant. The 1.0L Ecoboost engine will also remain on offer but, Ford may drop the 1.5L diesel engine eventually due to stricter emission norms.
Ford even offers a different variant for the EcoSport in the International markets with 4WD system. The 1.5L Dragon petrol engine produces 120 Bhp and 150 Nm torque. The 1.0L turbocharged Ecoboost engine generates 125 Bhp and 170 Nm of torque and the 1.5 TDCI diesel engine produces 98.6 Bhp and 215 Nm of peak torque. Ecosport offers a 6 Speed Automatic transmission with Dragon series petrol engine variant.
In India, Mahindra and Ford have entered a wide encompassing joint venture which will not just involve co developing cars for the future but also sharing distribution networks. For the first time ever, Mahindra dealers in smaller towns of India have begun retailing Ford cars. This move is meant to expand Ford India’s reach into smaller towns of India.