The first-gen Ford EcoSport is all set to start its second innings in India with the upcoming mid-cycle update. Unlike a typical facelift, this updated Ford is touted to come with extensive changes both inside and out. Here’s what we expect out of the India-spec 2018 EcoSport.
A Quick Recap
The first-gen model was launched in India in 2013 after it was introduced in Brazil. However, a near production concept made its world debut at the 2012 Indian Auto Expo. Though a little late (after nearly four years), Ford will launch its mid-cycle update in coming months. Ford’s engineering centres in Brazil, North America, Europe and Asia had worked on this updated model from 2014-2017.
The facelift model made its global premiere in the USA in November 2016. By early 2018, it will go on sale in the North American market for the first time as a first-gen facelift model and will be exported from India.
Unfortunately, the North American version doesn’t have a rear mounted spare wheel. The India-spec model, with the tailgate-mounted spare wheel, made its debut in China in May 2017 and recently went on sale in Brazil.
What’s New To The Exterior?
Changes in a go: redesigned front profile, new alloys and subtly tweaked rear profile
- Relatively broad headlamps with Bi-xenon lighting and LED daytime running lights
- New single-piece grille
- Redesigned bumper houses fog lamps and turn signals
- New 17-inch alloy wheels
- There are hardly any changes to its rear profile, save for the updated design of the spare wheel cover
- Likely to add more colours to the palette
What’s New To The Interior?
Changes in a go: completely overhauled interiors with new instrument cluster, steering wheel, switchgear and a floating large touchscreen display (thankfully lesser buttons)
- With a relatively mature design for the instrument cluster, it now features a large 4.2-inch MID (multi-info driver) screen (2.3-inch for lower variants)
- 8 and 6.5-inch floating SYNC 3 touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (8-inch system is also available in the Endeavour). If Ford offers an 8-inch screen in the India-spec EcoSport, it will become class-leading
- Soft touch material on the top portion of the dashboard
- Probably, India will get dual-tone theme (black and beige) like the Brazil and China-spec models (the US-spec version comes with all-black interior with orange highlights)
- It will carry forward most of its features such as dual-tone climate control, leather upholstery among others
- EcoSport always had a strong suite of safety features in India, including six airbags, ESP, TC and others. The facelift model comes with an additional driver knee airbag taking the count to seven airbags. It remains to be seen whether Ford offers here
On the whole, this interior is shared with the all-new Fiesta, and interestingly, the EcoSport facelift was revealed before the Fiesta made its debut!
Engine And Transmission
Changes in a go: Though the international-spec EcoSport has received a brand new 1.5-litre 3-cylinder petrol engine (139PS/153Nm), the India-spec model is likely to continue with its current set of engines.
- Petrol: 1.5-litre 4-cylinder (111PS/140Nm)/ 1.0-litre 3-cylinder turbocharged (125PS/170Nm)
- Diesel: 1.5-litre 4-cylinder (100PS/205Nm)
Launch And Pricing
Earlier, the EcoSport facelift was expected to be launched towards the end of this year (post-Diwali). However, Ford might advance its launch to cash in from the good market sentiments post-GST. The competition in this sub-4m segment has also increased of late and soon the Tata Nexon, which looks pretty competitive, will be launched before this Diwali. The 2018 Ford EcoSport is expected to be priced in the same range as the outgoing model.