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?

ford ecosport pre launch new fiesta based cute ute is out in the third world wild

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, 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?

Join the conversation
2 of 26 comments
  • El scotto El scotto on Jul 18, 2012

    I doubt we'll get the ecosport in the US. I can see a Ford executive shouting no, no,no, a thousand times no! It would cut into Escape sales. Another guy down the hall won't let the new Ranger into the US. It might cut into F-150 sales you see.

  • Outback_ute Outback_ute on Jul 19, 2012

    It is rumoured that the Ecosport will be sold in Australia, which is interesting as there aren't really any sub CRV/X-Trail/ix35 CUV's sold here although we did get the Daihatsu Terios years ago.

  • 285exp I am quite sure that it is a complete coincidence that they have announced a $7k price increase the same week that the current administration has passed legislation extending the $7k tax credit that was set to expire. Yep, not at all related.
  • Syke Is it possible to switch the pure EV drive on and off? Given the wonderful throttle response of an EV, I could see the desirability of this for a serious off-roader. Run straight ICE to get to your off-roading site, switch over the EV drive during the off-road section, then back to ICE for the road trip back home.
  • ToolGuy Historical Perspective Moment:• First-gen Bronco debuted in MY1966• OJ Simpson Bronco chase was in 1994• 1966 to 1994 = 28 years• 1994 to now = 28 yearsFeel old yet?
  • Ronnie Schreiber From where is all that electricity needed to power an EV transportation system going to come? Ironically, the only EV evangelist that I know of who even mentions the fragile nature of our electrical grid is Elon Musk. None of the politicians pushing EVs go anywhere near it, well, unless they are advocating for unreliable renewables like wind and solar.
  • FreedMike I just don’t see the market here - I think about 1.2% of Jeep drivers are going to be sold on the fuel cost savings here. And the fuel cost savings are pretty minimal, per the EPA: fuel costs for this vehicle are $2200 and $2750 for the equivalent base turbo-four model. I don’t get it.