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06 January 2012

Ford takes on the world with the all-new EcoSport mini SUV (w/ video)

Words by Christopher Kho | Photos courtesy of Ford Motor Company
For a brand that has big ambitions, Ford is cleverly taking on the world with small cars. And the latest vehicle to be added to its continent-conquering line-up is the all-new EcoSport. Get ready because while this mini SUV just made its world debut at the 2012 New Delhi Auto Expo, we wouldn't be surprised if it lands on our shores in just two years’ time or less. 
Based on Ford's B-platform, the EcoSport technically is a Fiesta fitted with bigger wheels, which means that it's actually a shy smaller than the Escape. It is the freshest concoction to come out of the One Ford global strategy. The nameplate EcoSport, however, is not anything new and has been around in South America since 2003. But this new version coming out is about to tackle new territories in North America, Europe, and Asia.
The EcoSport is built to have the small footprint of a subcompact, yet be tough enough to slug it out with bigger SUV's. They've then somehow compensated for its low ground clearance with a black lower body cladding to give it a taller ride height - aesthetically, at least. 
As a close cousin of the Fiesta, the EcoSport actually shares some design cues with the subcompact such as its steeply raked windshield, blacked out B-pillars, and curvy lines. In fact, it looks as if they share the same side mirrors, too. Still, the EcoSport is out to make a name for itself with its distinct personality. Upfront, aggressive hexagonal headlights let you know that this mini SUV means business, while the Ford signature multi-tier trapezoidal gear is ready to cut up everything that stands in its way. Then there's the tailgate-mounted spare wheel at the back for that the tough truck look, but I say it seems a bit off. No pictures or details though were revealed of what it looks inside. 
Powering the EcoSport will be a 1.0L EcoBoost engine, Ford's technological masterpiece. It might only have three-cylinders, but produces 118 horsepower and 170 Nm of torque - as much as the current 1.6L Duratec unit in the Fiesta with a lot less fuel.
The all-new EcoSport will be produced in Ford's new facility in Chennai, India and will definitely come to the Philippines sometime soon. Just expect some minor cosmetic changes from the theatrical concept when it hits the showroom.