The EcoSport is expected to attract plenty of attention in its first appearance on our shores as Ford Australia prepares to launch the Territory-inspired, Fiesta-based sub-compact crossover around the middle of 2013.
The Ford EcoSport will become the manufacturer’s cheapest SUV, sitting below the Territory and the mid-sized Kuga, and is expected to hit showrooms with a sub-$25,000 starting price.
At just over four metres long (not including the tailgate-mounted spare wheel), Ford Australia president and CEO Bob Graziano says the EcoSport will offer drivers accustomed to small city cars an alternative that delivers driving fun and freedom, compactness and agility, and contemporary SUV styling.
“EcoSport is a tough and robust vehicle and a perfect fit for our SUV portfolio,” Graziano said.
“EcoSport is great for crowded urban streets and it will inspire customers to seek adventure away from the city too. When EcoSport arrives our customers will have more choice.”
The EcoSport will launch with Ford’s all-new 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost petrol engine, which earlier this year earned the award for the best engine in the world for 2012.
The tiny engine, which Ford says has a block footprint the size of an A4 sheet of paper, combines turbocharging, direct injection and twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) to deliver power and performance to rival a traditional naturally aspirated 1.6-litre petrol powerplant.
The 1.0 EcoBoost is available overseas in either 74kW or 92kW tunes, producing 170Nm of torque across an impressively low and broad 1300-4500rpm rev range.
The engine consumes as little as 4.8 litres of fuel per 100km on the combined cycle when fitted to a five-door Focus.
The three-cylinder engine will debut in Australia in the updated Ford Fiesta city car, which will reach local showrooms ahead of the EcoSport.
Another EcoBoost-powered car, the Focus ST hot-hatch, will also take to the stand at Sydney from October 18. The 184kW/360Nm 2.0-litre Focus ST will be priced from $38,290 before on-road costs when it goes on sale next month.
Performance fans will also be treated to the official public unveiling of the limited edition 335kW/570Nm FPV GT RSPEC (above), which teams a recalibrated suspension package, wider rear wheels and tyres and an electronic launch control system to make it the quickest production Falcon Ford Australia has ever built.
Joining the $76,990 GT RSPEC will be the special edition FPV Pursuit Ute, which adds a number of styling and specification enhancements over the standard GS Ute.
Fans of V8 Supercars will also have the opportunity to get up close and personal with Ford Performance Racing’s (FPR) Car of the Future prototype in the lead-up to next year’s revamped championship, which will feature two new manufacturers, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz.