October 18, 2002

2003 Ford EcoSport

Andrew Charles
AutoReport

Ford Brasil
São Paulo, Brazil… Is Ford bringing this baby SUV to North America? Unveiled at the Salão Internacional do Automóvel in São Paulo last week, the EcoSport is Brazil's first “compact” SUV, smaller than the Escape. Developed by Ford's Brazilian engineers as part of the Amazon project and available with either a 4x2 or a 4×4 drivetrain, the EcoSport is designed to meet the aspirations and needs of the developing South American market.

“We made a sport utility to surprise the consumer, using all the experience and tradition of Ford in this area. It offers power and comfort for those who value the sensation of freedom, of being able to go where they want, sharing their adventures with friends and family. After trying the Ford EcoSport, people will start to see another way of life,” affirms Antonio Maciel Neto, president of Ford Brazil.

Compared to the Ford Fusion urban utility vehicle, with which it shares some components, the Ford EcoSport is characterized by the robustness of the drivetrain and its off-road capability, qualifying it to face a greater range of conditions with comfort.

“Therefore, it is ideal for consumers with the spirit of the independent adventurer, who like to share their experiences with family and friends, with freedom to go anywhere,” said Maciel.

Produced in Ford Brazil's Northeast Industrial Complex, Camaçari, in the Bahia, the EcoSport will be launched in the Brazilian market in the first quarter of 2003, and will also be exported to Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Colombia and other South-American countries.

Information about a “program to bring a Brazilian SUV to the US market" surfaced several months ago. Initially thought to be the Fusion, speculation has naturally shifted to the EcoSport. According to Ford Brasil the EcoSport “will be sold … in South America only” and at first glance seems to lack the refinement required for the North American market.


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