Next-generation Ford EcoSport will likely be based on the top-selling global Fiesta hatchback
Ford appears to be preparing a brand new EcoSport compact SUV for debut in a year or two. First glimpses have come out on the internet courtesy of the spy shots emerged in Europe. While the existing model is based on the Fiesta B2E platform, the upcoming EcoSport will sit on a new architecture and derive design cues from the Fiesta hatchback.
Spied testing for the first time, the prototype wears a dotted camouflage all over its body and it definitely conceals the identity of the third generation EcoSport. For starters, it is important to know that India never received the original EcoSport that was sold elsewhere in countries like Brazil between 2004 and 2012.
The test mule does indicate that we are quite far away from seeing the production version yet. Ford has been streamlining its operations and narrowing down the platforms to improve cost efficiency within the company and thus the upcoming EcoSport’s base could be flexible enough to accommodate future products pertaining to global markets in particular.
Ditching the rather boxy and high riding profile, the third generation EcoSport could get its styling influenced by bigger models in the global portfolio like the Kuga with a crossover roofline. It has been suspected that the EcoSport nameplate could completely make way for a new moniker under the forthcoming model, but we highly doubt that considering its popularity especially in emerging markets like India.
Having had the first mover advantage, the EcoSport set the initial benchmark in the subcompact SUV space in India before Maruti Suzuki caught it up with the Vitara Brezza and expanded the segment’s potential. The EcoSport has been the most successful model in India since its debut in 2013 and it should be having higher aspirations in its next avatar.
In a similar case to the existing model, the next-gen EcoSport will obviously be the smallest SUV within Ford’s range. This time around, it will be closely aligned with the best-selling seventh generation Fiesta as sharing of B-Car platform, engines and other components likely on the cards. It will indeed ensure bigger dimensions for increased cabin space and boot volume. Some select markets like the United States will get a four-wheel-drive system as option.
The second generation Ford EcoSport was first showcased as a concept at the 2012 Auto Expo before going on sale in Brazil and subsequently India. The upcoming model could follow the same route and may debut at the 2020 Auto Expo before reaching showrooms but details regarding that are sparse at the moment.
Ford is also developing a C segment SUV codenamed W601 for five seater and W605 for seven-seater and is based on the next generation Mahindra XUV500 due for debut in the later parts of 2020. With the assumption that the C-SUV could enter India by 2021, the next-gen EcoSport is expected to be launched in late 2020 or in early 2021 if it makes global debut next year in India or Brazil.
It could be powered by Mahindra developed petrol engine or share the same unit with XUV300. Expect Ford to highly localise the next-gen EcoSport in India to have a competitive advantage over rivals in terms of pricing – something that the existing model has severe challenges with. Ford could seek Mahindra for higher market penetration with the new iteration of EcoSport.