In what the makers claim to be the first ever Snapchat reveal for a vehicle, Ford has introduced the facelifted EcoSport on the social media platform. The facelifted compact SUV will make its public debut at the upcoming LA Motor Show and will hit showrooms in the USA by early 2018. What’s interesting is that the compact SUV will be exported from Ford’s Chennai plant, making it the first made-in-India Ford vehicle to hit the North American market. Also, this move suggests that we will get almost every new update and additional goodies that Ford has offered with the EcoSport facelift. Let us see what we can expect for the Indian market from the revealed American version.
Ford has subtly updated the EcoSport on the whole, but it is the front profile that seems to have gone under the knife the most. The front fascia now features a chunkier chrome grille – a design element that’s in line with the other SUVs by the Blue Oval, such as the Kuga and the Edge. It is somewhat similar to the one in the second-gen Endeavour as well.
Though the headlamps feature a profile similar to the current version, they look bulky and incorporate projector plus halogen lighting. And this time around, the indicators are placed lower in the fog lamp housing. There are no changes to the sides of the vehicle, save for the new set of alloys.
At the rear, the tail lamps are largely unchanged, but the American version of the EcoSport will not sport the mounted spare wheel. The outgoing EcoSport in the European market currently comes with a similar option. The Indian facelifted EcoSport, in all probability, will continue to feature the mounted spare wheel when the facelift goes on sale.
Cabin And Features
Although the exterior hasn’t been altered much, Ford has completely overhauled the cabin, which perhaps will be the highlight of the facelifted EcoSport. It now features a brand-new steering wheel and a twin-dial instrument cluster, which is clearer to read and has grown in size compared to the outgoing version.
The central console features the ‘floating’ type touchscreen infotainment system, which was sorely missing in the present EcoSport. Like its American version, the EcoSport will probably share the Ford SYNC 3 infotainment system with the Endeavour in India (the Endeavour has recently received the SYNC 3 unit). It is a massive eight-inch unit that supports both Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto, including Apple/Google maps for navigation. Most importantly, in the USA, the SYNC 3 in the EcoSport will be coupled to a 675-watt 10-speaker B&O (Bang and Olufsen) Play audio system, including B&O PLAY-branded tweeters and woofers in the front doors and a subwoofer in the back. This sound system is not likely to be offered in India.
One of the versions in the American market will also get copper accents for the interior and sport seats (as seen in the picture above). Though they look cool, the Indian version is unlikely to be offered with such options. We might get the all-black cabin with glossy black highlights (see the picture below). The updated EcoSport also comes with seven ambient lighting options.
It also features a new layout for the automatic climate control and new switch gears, which are borrowed from the Endeavour. Additionally, it offers two fast-charging USB ports placed below the climate control unit, along with a regular 12-volt socket at the front. It will also come with a 110-volt outlet positioned behind the centre console and another 12-volt outlet, allowing rear-seat passengers to stay plugged in.
In the American market, the EcoSport will be available with the 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost turbo petrol along with a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre petrol. The latter will come standard with an AWD (all-wheel-drive) system. In the Indian market, the facelifted EcoSport is likely to remain unaltered and will continue to come with the 1.5-litre TDCi diesel along with the 1.5-litre Ti-VCT and the 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine options. The probability of us getting the 2.0-litre petrol with AWD is very low.
The updated EcoSport will take on its existing rivals – such as the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and the Mahindra TUV300 and NuvoSport – when Ford launches it in India in mid-2017. Moreover, the 2017 EcoSport will also have to compete against the Honda WR-Vsince it will be launched in the first half of next year. The prices of the updated EcoSport are likely to shoot up because of the additional features and aesthetic upgrades, but the compact SUV is expected to be aggressively priced like the current version.