The Truth About Cars » EcoSport http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:58:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » EcoSport http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com European EcoSport To Be Made In India http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/european-ecosport-to-be-made-in-india/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/european-ecosport-to-be-made-in-india/#comments Tue, 05 Mar 2013 17:49:24 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=480214

In the good old days, when things were how they were supposed to, the first world got new cars first, and the third world got them three generations later. This time-tested principle is being set on its head. It started as an ugly trend in Japan, where Japanese received their new Latio ages after people in China or Thailand had already wrecked it. Subaru did a similar stunt with the XV. Now this disease is spreading to Europe, and the carrier is the Ford EcoSport.

The Ford EcoSport trucklet already is available in Brazil. And in India. When the EcoSport was announced for Europe, Marcelo des Vasconcellos had the story, because he can go to the next Ford dealer in Brazil to look at one, whereas Euros have to go to the Geneva Auto Show.

Remember how Marcelo was musing where the European EcoSport would be built?  Senhor Marcelo was just rubbing it in. The EcoSport destined for Europe will be made in India, Stephen Odell, chief of Ford Europe, told a Reuters reporter today in Geneva.

What’s more, says Reuters:

“The EcoSport is a key part of Ford’s strategy to hold its market share in Europe, where an economic downturn has sent vehicle sales tumbling. Ford is expanding its SUV lineup and aims to sell 1 million SUVs in Europe by 2017 or so.”

Take that, tumbling Euros. No more “sell it to the Indians.” Europe is so poor that a key part of Ford’s strategy is made in India.

The EcoSport isn’t a low-cost car in the same vein as the Dacia Duster, but the emerging market assembly location will help it compete against the Korean-built Opel Mokka, as well as the UK-built Nissan Juke, which is doing well in Europe. In addition to a 1.5L diesel engine, a 1.5L gasoline four-cylinder and 1.0L EcoBoost three-cylinder will be offered.

With features like SYNC and EcoBoost engines, the EcoSport is already a bit more upscale than the Juke and Mokka, but the production decisions behind it are more in line with the low-cost Duster. European versions will be sourced from India, as mentioned, with other markets getting EcoSports made in Brazil, Thailand or China. Then again, small cars are so unprofitable that building them in low-cost locations makes plenty of sense.

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Ford EcoSport: Low Cost Crossover Released Into The Wastelands Of Europe http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/ford-ecosport-low-cost-crossover-released-into-the-wastelands-of-europe/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/ford-ecosport-low-cost-crossover-released-into-the-wastelands-of-europe/#comments Thu, 28 Feb 2013 07:18:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=479404

The Ford EcoSport, launched last year into the wilds of South America, is being unleashed upon unsuspecting Europeans at the Geneva Motor Show. Handheld nerds already have been given an EcoSport preview at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Ford was in Barcelona to show off its improved SYNC. It has kept its familiar “give me a second while I think about this” responsiveness, as the video above demonstrates. With the EcoSport, Europeans will now be able to savor a car that is making South American soccer moms, I mean, consumers, giddy with pleasure. Could America be next?

According to reports, the Fiesta-based EcoSport will slot below the Ford Kuga, and is supposed to mix it up with the Opel Mokka and the Nissan Juke. Europeans will get 3 engine choices: a conventional 1.5L herding 115 horsies, a 1.0L Ecoboost Turbo that ponies up 125hp, and, otherwise it would be doomed in Europe, a 1.5L turbo-diesel that puts 90 hp in the drivers hand.

Coming back to the Barcelona preview, the new Ford will offer voice-activated Sync and a Ford version of GM’s On Star that’ll put the car in contact to the nearest rescue service in case of an accident. Neither system is available in Brazil. Maybe Sync doesn’t do Brazilian Portuguese? Or do Portuguese need to talk to the car in Spanish?

No word yet as to country of origin. Well, we are sure it won’t be made in Belgium. In Spain perhaps?

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Ford EcoSport Pre-Launch: New Fiesta-Based Cute-Ute Is Out In The Third World Wild, But Will It Be The End Of The One World? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/ford-ecosport-pre-launch-new-fiesta-based-cute-ute-is-out-in-the-third-world-wild-but-will-it-be-the-end-of-the-one-world/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/ford-ecosport-pre-launch-new-fiesta-based-cute-ute-is-out-in-the-third-world-wild-but-will-it-be-the-end-of-the-one-world/#comments Wed, 18 Jul 2012 12:35:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=453212 Pressured by the Franco-Romanian Renault-Dacia Duster, Ford is using a pre-launch marketing gimmick to dust drum up interest in their newest offering in Brazil. The cute-ute is called EcoSport. Due to my duty to TTAC readers everywhere, I pledged to pay a deposit of US$2,500 in order to get a crack at the first 2,500 cars that will grace our streets.

Of course, I don’t intend to give them my hard-earned money. (They may count me as a hand-raiser.)

However, I went along in order to find out the price. At R$53,490 (roughly US$27,000), the new Ford is aimed squarely at the Duster. The higher initial asking price could have some prefer the Renault, but I’m pretty sure the car’s modernly handsome looks will give Ford some of the market (and quite possibly the lead) they lost to Renault. It will remain to be seen how many Brazilians will put up with the limitations inherent in this kind of car in order to get a jeepsy look. I’ll bet there will be many!

The car will come with Ford’s new Sigma line of engines. The cars you can buy now come with the Sigma 1.6 16v present in the American Fiesta (and built in Brazil), that produces 110 or 115 hp depending on whether you fill it up with the concoction known as Brazilian gasoline or ethanol. However, in a cruel twist in which Ford acknowledges our still emerging market and thus not-so-worthy status, for Brazil the engine is not fitted with variable valve lifting.

Initially, there will be two trim levels available, the S and the Freestyle. According to Brazilian enthusiast site bestcars.com.br, a 2.0 Titanium EcoSport will be added to the mix later.

So, what do you get by paying what Ford is asking for? For the S you get headlights with LEDs, bumpers painted the same color as the car (yes, the e-mail Ford sent me confirming my participation proudly announced this feature!), electric steering, A/C, power locks, (front) windows and side mirrors, voice-activated Sync system with Bluetooth, frontal airbags and ABS brakes. That’s it. The Freestyle adds for 3 thousand more dollars a visual Freestyle package (whatever that is, but that is how Ford is calling it), 16 inch alloy wheels, and a so-called technology package that includes: trip computer, parking sensors, 4 electric windows with one-touch, hill-holder, ESC and traction control. For a cool US$32,000 you get the Freestyle in its most advanced trim that includes 6 airbags, leather seats and not much else.

So, in stark contrast to the proclaimed One Ford global strategy, Ford is manning up to the reality of the world and offering the Escape/Kuga in Western Europe and the northernmost parts of North America, and the EcoSport pretty much everywhere else. Is this an early sign that the One Ford principle is already passé?

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Review: 2012 Fisker Karma EcoChic http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/review-2012-fisker-karma-ecochic/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/review-2012-fisker-karma-ecochic/#comments Mon, 21 May 2012 13:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=444951

Henry Ford was no gifted artist, yet he made a car worthy of the common man.  William Durant didn’t especially like cars, but created a marketing and distribution empire that inspired us all.  And while Henrik Fisker’s car-centric life isn’t fully wikipedia’d, the first creation of the company that bears his name is an object of wonder and inspiration.  The Fisker Karma, like every concept from any auto show, is a dream car: flaws and compromises intact.

 

While I spilled the beans on the Karma’s Vellum, I never discussed the interior.  So let’s fix that.  The Karma’s guts are another exercise in concept car Shock and Awe.  While autojournos occasionally sit in million dollar concept cars, most folks do not.  Safe to say that if you, mere mortal, sit behind the tiller of a Fisker Karma, you’ve experienced the Concept Car in all its glory. Especially in the avant-garde EcoChic trim level, which is a good and bad thing.

 

 

Instead of mass-produced, the Karma goes cottage industry, Aston Martin Lagonda style. Plastic door panels at your knees?  Maybe, but they’re swathed in sheets of “EcoSuede”. Most touchpoints are wrapped in padded fabric reminiscent of Ricardo Tubbs’ designer threads.  And while there’s a touch of wood trim (eco-farmed from the bottom of a lake, no less), the obvious places for timber have iPhone worthy glass.  And brushed aluminum, including the electric door releases.  Aside from the EcoChic’s cornball leaf-etching in the glass, this tri-tone environment is an interior designer’s wet dream.

And the ICE in the center stack looks unfinished/overtly minimal like a proper concept car, but is intuitive and beautiful…once it finishes booting up. Even worse, the large Karma is shockingly small inside.  But since it isn’t thin and harsh like a (similarly exotic) Aston Martin Rapide, it’s more like the first time you sat in a bean bag chair. If you’re significantly wider than Justin Bieber, you might disagree. But less is still more.

Except when you get the Karma moving. That’s when 5300lbs of sedan feels just about right.  Aside from the frequent thuds and bumps from the 22” wheels, this is a proper luxury car with a ride that puts everyone else to shame using the Laws of Physics. You can’t hustle the Karma like a normal car, because this is a (compromised?) hybrid concept car come to life.

But the steering is remarkably lively, hybrid or otherwise. Handling is flat if you keep those steering inputs slow and stately.  Combined with the obligatory torque of an electric motor and the interior ambiance of a C4 Corvette (complete with ample view of that stunning hood), you’re piloting a proper space ship.

The driving experience of a monstrous hybrid sedan with a disturbingly low center of gravity is just as unique as the concept car styling. Touchy-feely thoughts aside, the performance numbers won’t impress: a garden variety 7-series will run circles around this monster. At least the GM Ecotec power generator is quiet and “sport” mode is entertaining…if not especially exciting.  I’d like to think the fuel economy is better than most luxury sedans, but that’s not the point.

The Karma is an experience. It’s immensely rewarding in every way. 

And Two and A Half Men product placement aside, this won’t be someone’s only vehicle.  At $116,000 for the top line EcoChic trim, it doesn’t take a White Whine fan to realize you’ll get more car for less money elsewhere. But can you put a price on owning a concept car? And drive it to work, enjoying every moment?

Bragging rights intact, every jerk off in a Benz, Panamera, Bentley, Phantom, etc. are cast off as “untouchable” when this bit of Hindu mysticism is in the joint. Inappropriate Caste System references FTW, son!

And while the current reality of the H-Town McMansion burning Karma adds irony to said Hindu concept, I did fall in love with this dream machine. And now I wonder if my tester was the responsible party…wait, could my personal/spiritual karma be responsible for the Karma’s McMansion maiming?

No matter: if the Pinto survived the explody-problem and thrived in a (somewhat) competitive market for years, why not cut Fisker a break?  Unless it burned down your crib, too. So let’s go back to the money, honey. Everyone’s all about Fisker’s long-term financial prospects: tragic, but a fair point.

My point? Screw it: the intended buyer has tons of disposable income and the Karma is a stunning piece of machinery. It, like true love, is filled with beauty, bliss and effortless good times. Also like true love, there’s sadness, tragedy, and nothing more than unfounded hope for a better future with the one you adore.  This is the passion of owning a sedan that will be the last vehicle mistaken for an appliance. A sedan amongst the most exotic vehicles, no less!

And with that, thank goodness for concept cars becoming a reality. Enjoy it while you can.

 

 

 

 

 

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Ford Launches New Global Truck In India http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/ford-launches-new-global-truck-in-india/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/ford-launches-new-global-truck-in-india/#comments Wed, 04 Jan 2012 14:59:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=424218

While Detroit is getting ready for NAIAS, the archetypical Detroit company is showing its newest truck in India. At the New Delhi Auto Expo, Ford today unveiled the second generation of its EcoSport “compact SUV.” Our friends at India’s Motorbeam.com were there to snap some pictures for you. According to Ford’s press release, the SUV “will eventually be sold in nearly 100 markets worldwide.” So why haven’t you heard of a Ford EcoSport before?

The first generation EcoSport was made in Brazil only. Basically, it was a German Ford Fiesta / Fusion in truck’s clothing. Come to think of it, you HAD heard of the EcoSport before, in Marcelo’s (Not so) Brief History Of The Brazilian Car.

The second generation EcoSport won’t cause major outpourings of testosterone either. The trucklet is powered (well …) by a 1 liter three cylinder EcoBoost enginelet, of which Ford is proud that is “delivers power and performance that will rival a traditional 1.6-litre petrol engine.” Ford threatens that the “all-new engine will be made available in Ford models in China, Europe, North America and other regions.”

In addition to Brazil, the EcoSport will be produced in India in Ford’s Chennai plant, which is being updated to the tune of $142 million. Production in other markets may “be announced at a later time.”

With a belated start in the region, Ford is now betting big on Asia. Ford wants to achieve a 50 percent increase in worldwide sales by mid-decade to 8 million vehicles a year, Asia Pacific and Africa are expected to deliver 60 percent to$ 70 percent of that target, Ford says.

Ford EcoSport. Picture courtesy Ford Ford EcoSport. Picture courtesy Motorbeam.com Ford EcoSport. Picture courtesy Motorbeam.com Ford EcoSport. Picture courtesy Motorbeam.com Ford EcoSport. Picture courtesy Motorbeam.com Ford EcoSport. Picture courtesy Motorbeam.com Ford EcoSport. Picture courtesy Ford Ford EcoSport. Picture courtesy Ford Ford EcoSport. Picture courtesy Ford Ford EcoSport. Picture courtesy Ford Ford EcoSport. Picture courtesy Ford Ford EcoSport. Picture courtesy Ford Ford EcoSport. Picture courtesy Ford Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
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