Indian Autos Blog superfan Sree Ganesh wrote in yesterday to brief us of his latest catch. Ganesh spotted a brand new Ford EcoSport test mule, completely undisguised in Chennai, wearing what the Brazilians call 'Savannah Orange' paintwork.
Here is Ganesh's note -
Spotted the Ford Ecosport today morning around 8:50 AM. It was the top-end (Ecoboost engined) Titanium version trailed by a white Ford Fiesta (latest gen). Zero camou indicates the release is in sight. There was an overdose of chrome on the front grill in my opinion. But one thing is for certain, it does have a good road presence which is something that is rated highly to sell such a car in India.
Previous spotting of the EcoSport mule convoy confirms that there are three variants in the plan. There's the 1L Ecoboost, 1.5L Ti-VCT petrol lifted from the Fiesta's engine bay and the 1.5 Duratorq diesel coming from the same zip code. Whether Ford launches all three at once, or keeps the in-demand diesel variants as the second installment is unknown.
As Ford is bringing down the 1L engine (which won the 2012 International Engine of the Year) understandably they may want the customers to test drive this little pocket rocket, in the least, to change their impression about petrol engines that are sacrificing entertainment for economy, and how well their engineers have done to squeeze out high performance and economy from a block that fits on an A4 size paper.
The majority of the customers may blindly choose the diesel (as they are doing now) making the Ecoboost engine launch a pointless showroom exhibit. This strategy could also backfire as Ford has already made customers wait for over a year, prolonging their frustration.
Ford will export the EcoSport to overseas markets following the domestic launch. The Nepali distributor for Ford, Go Automobiles, expects to lay its hands on the car in March 2013. Nepal therefore could be the first overseas assignment for it.
Ford India has promised "competitive pricing" but remains tight lipped about the market launch. These test mules have spoken however. The launch looks certainly around the corner!