Ford EcoSport diddy SUV revealed
Ford has released its answer to a question that only Nissan has asked so far: the Ford EcoSport is a tiny SUV that's the same as the Nissan Juke but without trying desperately to look hard.
Based on the Fiesta, the EcoSport is getting its global debut not at a major European motor show, but at the Delhi Auto Show today.
Why? Because the emerging Indian market is a virtually untapped cash register for car companies, and Ford is about to hear the cha-ching of it opening thanks to a flurry of new cars - the EcoBoost foremost among them.
The EcoSport will come to Europe, probably at the beginning of 2013, having already gone on sale in India, South America and China.
Designed and developed entirely in Brazil, this is the fourth car that we'll see in Europe built under the 'One Ford' strategy, following the Fiesta, Focus and Kuga.
It means that, unlike past Fords models, the EcoSport will be the same the world over, with only very minor mechanical and trim variations from market to market; previously, Fords sharing a name would be very different depending on which part of the world they were sold in.
The EcoSport will debut Ford's new three-cylinder petrol engine, a 1.0-litre unit with 118bhp that will emit less than 140g/km of CO2. The engine will end up in the Fiesta too, and with that sort of power output, most likely the Focus too.
The new mini SUV's styling is naturally quite like the Fiesta's, although the car you're looking at here is still furnished with show car details that will not make production, including the glowing blue grille inserts and matching headlamp surrounds.
The basic shape, however, is as per the production car, and the interior will borrow heavily from the Fiesta too.
Most versions will leave Ford garages as front-wheel drive pseudo-SUVs, although Ford will offer a four-wheel drive version; the spare wheel on the tailgate is a signal that Ford has developed the EcoSport with off-road capability in mind.
Like the Nissan Juke, it will have enough space to provide passable family transport, with cabin room for four grownup people, and a boot that, if not quite capable of swallowing two sets of golf clubs, will at least hold a few pairs of chinos and a healthy selection of Pringle sweater vests.
Ford will no doubt spend the next few months drip feeding information about the European EcoSport to us. We'll report back on the interesting stuff as it comes in...