Designed in Brazil and built in India: that’s the developing world’s stamp on the Ecosport. But Ford is a US-owned company with a truly international outlook, so the new model’s heritage isn’t quite as convenient as all that.
Even beneath the skin of the certified South American Mk1 EcoSport, there was a staunchly Euro-centric piece of engineering. And just as that sat on the previous Fiesta’s ‘B3’ architecture, so the new global Mk2 version sits on its successor: the B-car platform.
The advent of the Ecosport as a worldwide offering is entirely tied to Ford’s ambitions for that expensive piece of architecture. Development of the latest model was handled by designers and engineers from more than 16 countries, according to Ford, and its production will be spread between Brazil, Thailand, China and India. (UK models will come from India.) A global car, indeed.
High-strength boron steel has been used in the Ecosport’s body-in-white to add torsional rigidity and improve the car’s occupant protection in the event of a crash or rollover — specifically in the door frames. A similar application of the material was applied to the related B-Max MPV to compensate for the absence of fixed B-pillars.
This car is the fourth ‘One Ford’ global model to be built on the firm’s B-platform, after the Fiesta supermini, the B-Max and the Tourneo Connect MPV, which is a car and not a van, somewhat confusingly, for couriers.
The car is also Ford’s first ever to be developed entirely in South America. Its front strut, rear twist beam suspension configuration has been retuned for European tastes, as has its electro-mechanical power steering.
Much of it, though, is already familiar. Like the Fiesta and the B-Max (and virtually every other small car), the Ecosport wears its dinky engines in the nose, where they exclusively drive the front wheels. Those wheels meet the ground courtesy of MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam to the rear, and they are stopped by front discs and rear drums.
The engine line-up is usefully kept simple, with four options to choose from: a 111bhp 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol, an 89bhp 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel and the UK-designed 123bhp 1.0-litre, three-pot EcoBoost engine that we all know and love. To complete the range and only available with the Titanium S trim - a 138bhp 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine.