They may not be lighting up the sales charts yet, but cars you never thought would be sold in the United States have been brought over. Chevrolet Spark, Smart a few years back, the Fiat 500, Ford Fiesta – these are international vehicles that traditionally have had very little appeal here.
There certainly has been a bigger focus than ever on B- and C- segment vehicles. As far as crossovers, we’re seeing this as well. Buick has taken a lead with the 2013 Encore. BMW is following up with the X1, and rumors are Audi could follow suit with the Q3. In Beijing, Ford is entering the segment with the EcoSport. And it is small – very small. Word has it the U.S won’t get it, for now. 100 other markets around the world will though.
EcoSport was developed in Brazil by a global development team, and it will play a big part of Ford’s efforts in China. Production will take place in Chongqing China, Camacari, Brazil, Rayong, Thailand and Chennai, India. They aren’t messing around with this launch. It is designed to be a big seller in developing markets, with a capable nature evidenced by its high ride height and available features like Hill Descent Control.
As its name indicates, the centerpiece of the EcoSport is an EcoBoost powerplant. But it isn’t an EcoBoost engine like any we’ve ever had. It is a 1.0-liter three-cylinder unit, making 118 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque. We’d like a little more power please…
The model Ford is showing off is the EcoSport Titanium. It includes 16-inch aluminum wheels, SYNC, Smart Keyless Entry, Ford Power Start (whatever that is), a cooled glove box, Hill Descent Control and rear parking sensors. No word on how much it will cost. With 100 markets getting it, is Ford wrong about bringing it here? Would there be a market? We have no idea. While cool, this isn’t one we’re pining for. Check out our gallery below and decide for yourself.