Ford's new Ecosport small SUV will play a pivotal role in the carmaker's target to achieve 2m sales a year worldwide of its small car platform.
The Ecosport will account for almost a quarter of these when it completes it's global roll out entering the fast growing B SUV segment in Europe next year. Sharing its underpinnings are the Fiesta, B-MAX, Transit Courier and the recently shown Ka concept.
The car has been developed in Brazil, where it is also assembled, as well as other production plants in China, India and, within the next six to eight months, Russia and Thailand.
In the UK, launch in May will be preceded a month earlier by the release of 120 Facebook limited edition models. Connectivity is also behind the Ford Sync voice control system for audio and phone functions which is an add-on package for the Ecosport.
Initial sales plan is for just 4,000 Ecosports in the UK next year, restricted by availability from the factories. This is expected to ease once production is increased. Unlike other markets, the UK will not get four wheel drive to keep weight and cost down according to Ford of Britain marketing chief Anthony Ireson, who added that two wheel drive models will have some off road capability thanks to a good wading height and sharp departure angles. Buyers are not expected to be keen off roaders but city dwellers.
Two engines will be available, Ford's 1-litre 3-cylinder Ecotech engine and the 1.5 -litre TDCi diesel, mated to five speed manual or 6-speed Powershift transmissions. Initially there will be just one trim level, Titanium.