The EcoSport will debut later this week at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, Ford announced on Twitter. DJ Khaled, who will apparently be involved in the unveiling, previously mentioned it on Snapchat. Ford has hinted at bringing the EcoSport to the U.S. as far back as 2014, and test mules haves been spotted around the company’s Dearborn, Michigan, development center for a while. With crossover sales booming, this is probably the ideal time to launch the EcoSport here.
Ford launched the EcoSport back in 2003, and then debuted the current, second-generation model in 2012. That makes the current design fairly old by industry standards. Automobile reports the U.S. launch will coincide with a face-lift that will include an upgrade to Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system, among other changes.
The EcoSport is based on the same platform as the Fiesta, and is significantly smaller than the most compact utility vehicle in Ford’s current U.S. lineup, the Escape. It’s currently offered with a variety of engines in different world markets, but U.S. engine offerings could be derived from the Fiesta, which is currently offered with 1.6-liter four-cylinder and 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engines here.
When it arrives in the U.S., the EcoSport certainly won’t be lacking in competition. It will give Ford an entry into the burgeoning subcompact crossover segment, which in about six years has grown from virtual nonexistence to include a plethora of models such as the Chevrolet Trax, Honda HR-V, and Mazda CX-3. Toyota will show its own subcompact crossover, called the C-HR, in L.A. as well.
Can an aging design intended for non-U.S. markets compete against all of these rivals? We’ll find out soon. Stay tuned.