Ford to offer full range of SUV sizes by end of 2014
The first generation EcoSport has proved popular, selling 700,000 units in the South American region. Its successor, which uses the same platform as the new Fiesta and B-Max, will be a world car sold in 100 markets, and production will be extended to include India and China, as well as existing facilities in Brazil. Ford has yet to confirm which factory will supply European models.
For Europe, the car gives Ford a key asset in what’s seen as a growth sector, and a rival to the Nissan Juke as well as the forthcoming Vauxhall/Opel Mokka and Peugeot’s 2008. European models will look almost identical to their global counterparts, including the distinctive full-size spare wheel attached to the tailgate.
Powertrains will include a 1.0 EcoBoost and, most likely, the 1.5 and 1.6-litre diesels as used in the B-Max. Two and four wheel drive will be available, though Ford said it was considering whether to offer the latter in Europe, where it is likely to account for a minority of the sales mix.
At the other end of the SUV line-up, Ford’s upmarket Edge will be available in Europe within two years. Already popular in the United States, the model is expected to net 10% of the medium-sized SUV market.
Kuga will be replaced next year with a global model which looks almost identical to the Escape recently launched in North America. So far only the 1.6 EcoBoost has been confirmed, with Econetic Technology systems including an active grille shutter and automatic start/stop.
New Kuga will also feature a kick-activated automatic tailgate, which opens and closes electronically, and a rear bench which folds down to a completely flat load area.