By Drew Johnson
Thursday, Sep 27th, 2012 @ 9:50 am
 

Ford has unveiled its all-new Fiesta-based EcoSport compact crossover at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. Although largely intended for the India market -- the EcoSport was actually first unveiled earlier this year at the New Delhi Auto Expo -- Ford is hopefull the EcoSport's small footprint will make it popular with European buyers.

The EcoSport's exterior lines incorporate styling cues from Ford's latest design language, including a large trapezoidal grille. The prominent wheel arches and the tall silhouette are both reminiscent of the upcoming Escape, while plastic molding on the lower body and rear-mounted spare tire help betray the fact that the SUV is based on the same B-segment platform as the Fiesta.

A 1.0 Ecoboost three-cylinder gasoline engine will be the EcoSport's entry-level offering. Thanks to a small turbocharger, it is rated at 120 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque. No performance specifications are available, but Ford says that it can keep up with a comparable SUV powered by a normally-aspirated 1.6 four-banger.

The second engine offering will be the 1.5 four-cylinder currently found under the hood of the Fiesta. A five-speed manual gearbox will come standard for both engines, and an automatic unit will be available at an extra cost. The EcoSport on hand in Paris sported a 2.0 badge, but Ford has yet to announced any details on that engine.

Ford says the EcoSport will hit the European market within the next 18 months.