Ford unveils EcoSport SUV for Europe
LONDON -- Ford Motor Co. today unveiled the European version of its EcoSport subcompact SUV, a model the automaker hopes will help counter the company's falling sales in the region.
The EcoSport joins a growing segment as increasing numbers of European buyers opt for high-riding vehicles. The EcoSport will compete against new segment entries such as the Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur as well as the recently launched Opel/Vauxhall Mokka.
The Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur will debut at the Geneva auto show on March 4.
Ford said the EcoSport will go on sale in Europe at the end of the year, joining the recently launched new Kuga compact SUV. The automaker also plans to bring to Europe the next-generation Ford Edge, a larger and more premium SUV sold in the United States.
The European EcoSport is visually unchanged from the version that is already on sale in Brazil, where it was developed. Ford is expected to announce European production plans for the EcoSport at the Geneva show.
Ford unveiled the European EcoSport today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Equipment announced for the car includes Ford's SYNC voice activated phone connection system. The technology will also allow drivers to control smartphone apps, also using their voice.
The EcoSport will be offered in Europe with three engine options: a 125-hp 1.0-liter, three-cylinder gasoline engine, a 110-hp 1.5-liter gasoline unit and a 90-hp 1.5-liter diesel.
The EcoSport is based on Ford's global small car platform that also underpins the Fiesta subcompact hatchback.
Ford's passenger vehicle registrations fell 26 percent in January in the EU and EFTA, according to industry association ACEA, in a total market down 8.5 percent.
You can reach Nick Gibbs at firstname.lastname@example.org.