Geneva News: New Ford EcoSport SUV to focus on connected technologies
The EcoSport will be the second SUV to be launched in Ford’s expanding European range when it goes on sale at the end of this year, following the recently-launched Ford Kuga. Ford also plans to bring to Europe the next generation Ford Edge, a larger and more premium utility vehicle popular in the US and other markets, although it hasn’t announced if the market roll-out will include the UK.
The EcoSport will also feature new smartphone app technologies including the Ford SYNC voice-activated in-car connectivity system and will be one of the first Ford vehicles in Europe to offer the Ford SYNC AppLink, which enables customers to voice-control smartphone apps from the driver’s seat.
‘The role of the car is evolving,’ said Paul Mascarenas, Ford chief technical officer and vice president, research and innovation. ‘Customers want to be able to safely enjoy the same level of connectivity in their cars as they would do at home, and SYNC AppLink enables then to do just that. By maximising the potential of apps, Ford can offer customers a class-leading range of smartphone app capabilities while on the move.’
In addition, the EcoSport will feature Ford SYNC with Emergency Assistance, which directly connects the vehicle occupants to local emergency services operators after an accident, in the correct language for the region using information from the vehicle’s on-board GPS unit and mobile network to pinpoint accident location and choose the appropriate language in which to deliver an introductory message.
The new EcoSport will also offer a range of driver assistance technologies including Electronic Stability Program and Hill Launch Assist.
The compact SUV will be offered with Ford’s 123bhp 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine, a 108bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine, and a 89bhp 1.5-litre diesel engine expected to deliver class-leading fuel efficiency.