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Delhi show: Ford teases new Aussie-designed SUV

One from Ford: All-new super-compact SUV was designed for global markets, including Australia, including Australia.

First official teaser images of Ford’s Australian-designed Fiesta crossover emerge

20 Dec 2011

FORD has revealed the first teaser image of an all-new Fiesta-based micro-crossover that was designed in Australia for global consumption, ahead of its world premiere at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo in India on January 6.

Ford Australia will not confirm or deny its engineering and development role in the project, but has said the all-new model to be revealed in India next month will be sold Down Under, where it will be positioned below the compact Focus-based Kuga that finally joins the Australian-made Territory here in March.

These three Ford SUVs will eventually be joined by another SUV developed by Ford Australia, a more rugged seven-seat off-roader that will reportedly be called the Endeavor in some markets and is based on the locally designed T6 Ranger, alongside which it will be built in Thailand.

For now, the first official teaser image of the bright orange Delhi concept reveals a contemporary front-end featuring a narrow grille, clamshell bonnet design and Territory-style headlights that are different from the units on the rendering we published earlier this month.

As we reported then, a series of front and rear teaser images that recently appeared on – and then disappeared from - Ford of India’s public website confirmed the accuracy of the rendering, which originated in Brazil – another market in which the SUV will be sold.

The first official teaser images also revealed the pint-sized soft-roader will be powered by an EcoBoost direct-injection turbo-petrol four, most likely the just-released three-cylinder 1.0-litre version that stumps up at least 75kW and 200Nm of torque, although Ford’s 110kW/240Nm 1.6-litre EcoBoost turbo four is also possible.

27 center imageLeft, from top: Official Ford teaser released yesterday, 2012 EcoSport rendering by Car and Driver Brazil's João Kleber Amaral, official teaser images published and then removed from Ford of India's public website earlier this month.The Australian-designed budget high-rider is expected to be called the EcoSport in India, where it will be built. EcoSport is a nameplate Ford has used for a mid-size SUV based on the previous-generation Fusion and sold in South America since 2003.

GoAuto understands the unnamed model will also be produced in China, for which Ford Australia is known to also be developing an all-new model, but is it unclear whether this vehicle will be in addition to the ‘EcoSport’.

While the Ford EcoSport is set to be revealed in New Delhi within a month, the Ranger-based SUV is likely to lob at the Bangkok motor show in late March ahead of a late-2012 rollout in Australia, where it will go head to head with the new Thai-made Holden Colorado 7, Nissan Pathfinder, Mitsubishi Challenger and Toyota Prado.

Meantime, the new entry-level crossover – codenamed B515 – will give Ford a weapon against the new breed of compact SUVs such as Subaru’s upcoming XV, the Skoda Yeti, Mitsubishi ASX, Nissan Dualis and Suzuki SX4, as well as the Chinese-made Chery J11.

Set to be built on the global Fiesta platform in Chennai from early 2012, it will also go head to head with an all-new baby SUVs to come from General Motors, which has itself revealed teaser images of a new Buick Encore ‘CUV’, which like a new small SUV to come from Opel is based on the latest Barina/Sonic/Aveo platform.

Several ‘EcoSport’ prototypes have previously been spied around the world including in China, where the new model will make its national debut at the 2012 Beijing motor show in April. Brazil’s version is also expected to be revealed publicly within months.

Ford Australia engineers have become the “go-to guys” within the One Ford global platform sharing strategy after engineering the Thai-built Ranger for more than 160 markets globally and the previous-generation Fiesta-based Figo small car built in India for almost 30 international markets.

The Figo has amassed around 130,000 sales in India, where Ford says it has become the country’s most awarded car ever, since its launch there in March 2010.

Ford said its Delhi concept will be the latest One Ford global product designed to help expand Ford's footprint in the world's fastest-growing vehicle markets, including India. It will be the second of eight models Ford plans to bring to India by 2015.

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