Posted Apr 24th 2012 9:00AM
Ford has unveiled the production version of its EcoSport crossover at the 2012 Beijing Motor Show. The small five-door utility should offer buyers plenty of functionality in a compact and efficient package thanks to a range of drivetrain configurations including a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder Ecoboost engine. The small-displacement engine is good for 118 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque, which should be more than enough to move the little machine around. All told, Ford says the EcoSport will see duty in over 100 world markets, though the CUV isn't expected to show up in our neck of the woods.
The EcoSport Titanium is currently on display in Beijing, complete with 16-inch wheels and a massive chrome grille. All models feature Ford Sync with voice control, while smart keyless entry and remote start are also available. As expected, the crossover also comes laden with safety tech, including dual front and side-curtain airbags.
The EcoSport will be a cornerstone of Ford's aggressive expansion into China that will see it roll out some 15 new models by 2015. In the CUV segment, Ford of China presently only sells the Edge, but it will add the EcoSport, Kuga (read: Escape) and Explorer to its showrooms as part of this initiative. Hit the jump for the full press release.
Related GalleryFord EcoSport
An SUV for the Urban World – Ford Reveals Fuel-Efficient, All-new Ford EcoSport in China
Created for the urban environment, the all-new Ford EcoSport offers contemporary design, smart technologies and a high driving position – all in a compact, agile, fuel-efficient shape
Powered by an array of powertrains, including an all-new 1.0-litre, three-cylinder EcoBoost™ engine, the aerodynamically honed Ford EcoSport is designed to be a benchmark in fuel economy while giving customers the performance feel of a larger engine
Packed with aspirational appeal, craftsmanship and sophistication – including the Ford SYNC driver connect system with voice control – the all-new EcoSport offers a compelling alternative to the small car in big cities
BEIJING, April 22, 2012 – Ford today revealed the production version of the all-new Ford EcoSport and announced plans to build the compact, fuel-efficient urban SUV in China, in addition to India, Thailand and South America.
EcoSport's global debut at the 2012 Auto China in Beijing means customers in China will soon be able to choose an aspirational sports utility vehicle alternative to a small car. The Ford EcoSport offers a confident stance, a high driving position and robust character on top of the agility, manoeuvrability and fuel efficiency that comes with a compact footprint. It's the perfect combination for the city – ready for work and ready for play.
Within a contemporary design aerodynamically honed for fuel economy, the EcoSport is full of smart technologies, features and craftsmanship that offer customers more than they would expect in this segment.
With a number of powertrain solutions, including Ford's newest, most advanced engine the 1.0-litre EcoBoost™, EcoSport is designed to be a benchmark in fuel efficiency. It also offers the Ford SYNC driver connect system with voice control and many other innovative features in a spacious and comfortable interior with new levels of craftsmanship as well as outstanding quietness and refinement.
"The Ford EcoSport reflects our commitment to serve our Ford customers in China and around the world with the cars, utilities and trucks they want and value," said Joe Hinrichs, president, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa. "EcoSport delivers outstanding quality, great fuel efficiency with the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine, superior safety and really smart design with SYNC."
The production reveal of EcoSport follows rapidly after the vehicle's global preview in January at the Delhi Auto Expo as well as in Brazil, where Ford EcoSport was developed by a global Ford development team. In addition to production in Chongqing, the EcoSport will be manufactured in Camaçari, Brazil, Rayong, Thailand, and Chennai, India, and will be offered in nearly 100 markets globally.
EcoSport joins Ford's family of small global vehicles, which will reach an annual production capacity of 2 million units by 2015.
"The all-new EcoSport is designed and engineered specifically for customers in global growth markets using Ford's global SUV engineering expertise and reflecting our commitments for quality, leading fuel economy, safety and smart technology," said Raj Nair, group vice president, Global Product Development. "We're delivering innovative products like this to drive our global growth."
Ford is showcasing its top-of-the-line model, the EcoSport Titanium, on stage in Beijing, painted in distinctive Mars Red. A similar model is being revealed today in Salvador, Brazil, as EcoSport's global launch momentum builds.
EcoSport Titanium has 16-inch aluminium alloy wheels and a chrome grille.
Inside, EcoSport offers a stylish, modern and well-equipped interior delivering new standards of craftsmanship and quality. The cabin – spacious for five people and their gear – has been engineered to deliver outstanding levels of comfort and quiet operation for customers.
In addition to Ford SYNC with voice control, among EcoSport's available innovative technologies are Smart Keyless Entry, Ford Power Start, and a cooled bin in the glovebox.
EcoSport offers advanced safety items, such as dual front airbags and side curtain airbags, as well as Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Program.
To take the stress out of driving, the EcoSport comes with an array of driver-assist features including Hill Launch Assist and rear parking sensors.
Its agile, manoeuvrable chassis features electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) for outstanding steering response and improved fuel efficiency.
Beautiful, agile, modern
The new EcoSport is an affordable compact SUV that is ready for work and ready for play.
It targets benchmark performance in fuel economy, driveability and performance to redefine expectations in the compact SUV segment.
The new Ford SUV's main characteristics were defined by consumers in all of the regions in which it will be sold. The design and flexible use are part of the new vehicle's differentiated plan, which besides the agility and practicality for urban use, offers power and robustness for more adverse terrain.
The elevated stance and purposeful posture give the new EcoSport the appearance of a higher class vehicle. Its agile and contemporary lines convey confidence, refinement and an adventurous spirit, within a modern and smart package. All this contributes to EcoSport's aspirational appeal.
"The new EcoSport is full of personality," said J Mays, group vice president, Design, and chief creative officer, Ford Motor Company. "Customers around the world immediately recognise its capability and SUV robustness that is achieved with aggressiveness. It is friendly and it's a vehicle that really makes you smile."
Powering growth in China
Reinforcing Ford's commitment to offer a full portfolio of vehicles in China, the all-new Ford EcoSport will be the second of 15 new vehicles that Ford plans to introduce in the country by 2015. This is part of a bigger plan to bring more than 50 new vehicles and powertrains to the Asia Pacific and Africa region by mid-decade, underscoring the unprecedented expansion in the region.
"With its superior fuel efficiency and a comprehensive suite of smart technologies, the EcoSport is well-placed to power Ford into a new segment not only in China but also in other growth markets in Asia," said Hinrichs.
Ford's aggressive expansion plan in China is being supported by several new investments to increase production capacity.
It was announced earlier this month that Ford and its joint venture Changan Ford Mazda Automobile (CFMA) will invest approximately USD 600 million to expand capacity in Chongqing by 350,000 passenger vehicles, raising total capacity in China to 950,000 units by 2014. The new investment will increase Ford's total investment in China to approximately USD 4.1 billion.
CFMA already operates two assembly plants and an engine plant in Chongqing. Additional facilities – a USD 500 million engine plant and a USD 350 million transmission plant – are currently under construction.
News Source: Ford