Previously revealed as a concept car, the new Ford EcoSport will be the smallest SUV ever sold by Ford and will go up against the likes of the Nissan Juke and Vauxhall Mokka when it goes on sale.
First revealed in Indian, it is expected to be sold in Asian markets first before being sold worldwide – but Ford has still not revealed if it will go on sale in the UK.
It seems likely; the craze for bulky, five-seat ‘mini-SUVs’ is growing in the UK on the back of the success of the Nissan Juke.
With Fiat launching an updated 2012 Fiat Panda, a new Corsa-based Vauxhall Mokka arriving next year and the success of the likes of the high-riding Citroen DS4, small hatchbacks with a hint of SUV styling are proving to be a hit in the UK.
Ford hopes the perennial success of the Ford Fiesta, the UK’s best-selling car in 2011 and widely regarded as one of the best handling cars on the market, will help an SUV based on the same principles in the UK.
Ford’s Asia Pacific chief Joe Hinrichs said: “We have high expectations for this model, it’s an SUV that is the right size for cities and those who will buy it we see as urban adventurers.”
The car is currently only available in a basic specification for emerging markets but it would be given a refresh if it was to be sold in the UK to include modern equipment such as Ford’s voice-activated SYNC entertainment and satellite navigation technology.
However, it would retain the impressive EcoBoost petrol 1.0-litre engine currently used in the new Ford Focus and set to appear in the new Ford B-Max when it goes on sale in UK Ford dealerships.