Ford EcoSport with 1.2L Ti-VCT engine is a 'possibility' says Ford India MD - IAB Report

24/09/2015 - 13:07 | ,   | Anjan Ravi

The 1.2L engine is made at the Sanand plant.

The Ford EcoSport has proven to be a winner for the Blue Oval in the Indian market. Since sales started in June 2013, Ford India has delivered over 200,000 copies of the compact SUV locally and overseas.

Ford EcoSport S front at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show
The made-in-India EcoSport is exported to Europe, Africa, Middle East and a part of Oceania.

However, despite measuring under 4 meters in length, one petrol variant of the EcoSport fails to take advantage of the small car excise duty benefit. The small car rule in India mandates that the petrol engine displace under 1,200 cc, and a diesel engine under 1,500 cc.

The petrol engine on the EcoSport though is a 1.5-liter Ti-VCT unit. While Ford India also offers a 999 cc three-cylinder turbocharged EcoBoost engine on the EcoSport, this engine is imported from Germany, and as a result costs more than the 1.5L unit: The 1.0L Titanium variant is priced INR 44,000 more than the 1.5L Titanium variant, ex-Showroom, New Delhi.

On the other hand, Ford India has started manufacturing a 1.2-liter Ti-VCT engine which powers the Figo Aspire and the new Figo. The Sanand plant, which has a capacity to make 270,000 engines annually, manufactures this new petrol engine which has significantly higher power and torque outputs from the previous 1.2-liter unit. When asked if the new 1.2-liter unit could find its place on the EcoSport, Ford India's president and managing director, Mr. Nigel Harris, said -

That's a really good question, and that is something we talk about, but I can't comment on it. You got to match the powertrain with the right bodystyle, and the EcoSport is a bigger car, so you've to think about the gradability; it has to go up certain degrees of hills with 5 people in it and trunk full of luggage, so you've to get that right. But it is a possibility, it's a good question.

Alan Mullaly with the 1L Ford Ecoboost engine
While the EcoBoost engine may have won several awards, it is still an expensive hardware for Ford India, which imports the engine from Germany.

Currently the EcoSport's sole competitor is the recently-launched Mahindra TUV300, which is exclusively available with a diesel engine. However, the EcoSport could face the heat in the years to come. For example, Maruti will introduce a sub-4 meter SUV in early-2016, which is likely to be powered by the tried-and-tested 1.2-liter K-Series petrol engine, in addition to a 1.3-liter diesel.

Also read: Euro-spec 2016 Ford Edge unveiled – 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show Live

And while the TUV300 remains a diesel-only product for now, plans are rife to add a petrol variant from Mahindra's upcoming petrol engine family. It should also be noted that Hyundai Motor India is considering a sub-4 meter SUV that will slot below the Creta, and Hyundai offers petrol engines on all products except the Santa Fe.

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