We have to start this significant article about a significant product, with a little conference room episode about Mr. Alan Mulally President and CEO, Ford Motor Company.
In one of his Thursday management meetings, where managers are supposed to show color-coded charts, red for serious problems, yellow for lesser issues, green for all OK, “all the charts were green and I know — we’re going to lose $17 billion. I stopped the meeting and I said, ‘Is there anything that isn’t going well? We’re losing $17 billion.’ Eye contact goes down to the ground.
Mulally: “The next week here comes Mark (Fields, now president of Ford’s North and South America operations) and the charts are all red. Everybody else’s were green. I started to clap, and I said ‘That’s great.’
“I looked around and said, ‘Is there anything we can do to help’” resolve problems Fields was having launching the Ford Edge.
A dam burst. Other managers started tossing out solutions to similar problems they’d had.
Source: USA Today
If anybody had any doubts about what a ‘manager’ from an aerospace company could do for an ailing automotive brand, Mulally made sure they got their answer. Ford before Mulally made over 90 vehicles, which Mulally brought down to about 20 to focus on a smaller set of cars. Mulally brought about the ‘One Ford’ concept, the mantra which drives the company today. Mulally also closed a deal which saw the company remortgaging its assets to borrow $23.6 billion saving the company from bankruptcy. One Ford has worked wonders for the company, and on the 22nd April 2012 they unveiled one of the most significant cars for the growth markets such as India, Brazil and China, the all new Ford EcoSport. EcoSport will be offered in nearly 100 markets globally.
The all-new Ford EcoSport was created by a global Ford Product Development team lead by Chief designer Ehab Kaoud of Ford South America. The team is headquartered in Camaçari, Brazil, one of eight Ford Product Development centers worldwide.
High ground clearance and lower body cladding give the all-new Ford EcoSport a rugged, confident SUV stance. The spare wheel mounted on the swing gate has been a signature EcoSport trait and hints at the adventurous spirit of the EcoSport.
The swing gate facilitates access to the cargo space. Its door handle, uniquely integrated in the right-side tail lamp, is one of the innovative highlights of the vehicle and creates a seamless look at the rear. The EcoSport is the embodiment of the rapidly evolving Kinetic Design language. The windshield is steeply raked, and blacked out B-pillars project a unified image of the side glass conveying a clean, modern profile, complementing a shape honed in the wind tunnel for efficiency.
Modern, oblique headlamps frame a high-mounted trapezoidal grille which is the signature Ford face. The horizontal chrome bars on the grille are also an interpretation of the three horizontal bars on the last generation Ford EcoSport, another signature feature. The LEDs on the headlamps seen on the concept at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo,have been replaced with conventional bulbs.
The new EcoSport was developed on Ford’s new global B-segment platform, which will be the basis for an array of new small-car products from Ford in the coming years. By mid-decade, the new Ford B-platform family of vehicles will represent more than 2 million units of annual production as compact cars continue to drive global growth.The platform features flexibility to create compelling new products that expand customer choice, especially in key growth markets around the world.
The dimensions of the EcoSport are
Length………… 4,241 mm
Width…………. 2,057 mm
Height………… 1,696 mm
Wheelbase……… 2,521 mm
These figures should put to rest any residual doubts of the EcoSport exploiting the excise duty benefit for sub 4m cars. This was of course, made clear at the global unveiling at the Auto Expo where it was stressed that the EcoSport would be a premium product without any compromise on space or features.
The instrument cluster is now lit in ‘Ice Blue’ and the cabin is a play of black, grey and silver. The plastics on the dashboard are said to be soft touch, with the airbag compartment looking seamless. As Fords always have been, the noise levels are expected to be low thanks to the sound insulation. The door trims are also soft to touch, taking the game up a notch. Seat contours are taken from the Ford global DNA design, meaning good lumbar support.
There’s a storage drawer underneath the seat, and a cooled bin in the glovebox for your drink.
The all-new EcoSport was designed to meet the strictest safety standards in the markets in which it will be sold. Its body was developed with design tools and advanced software to reduce weight, combining programmed energy impact absorption zones with an extremely rigid protection cage to protect occupants.
The chassis’ stability and robustly built body with high torsional rigidness for occupant protection, 20% better than the previous model sold in South America, are part of the features which give the EcoSport the confidence of a true SUV.
The vehicle offers a comprehensive package of safety features including standard dual front airbags (for driver and passenger) and optional side curtain airbags to protect rear-seat passengers in rollover-type accidents. The pelvis bolster provides pelvic protection while the energy-absorbing side door trim provides thoracic and abdominal protection during side impact accidents. Whew.
The EcoSport is also equipped with advanced active safety technologies such as Anti-Lock Brake System, Electronic Stability Program, and Hill Launch Assist.
Engine & Transmission
Engines options include the 1.0-liter EcoBoost I-3, the 1.5-liter I-4 Ti-VCT in the all new Fiesta, 1.5-liter Duratorq diesel TDCI I-4 and probably only for the global markets, the 1.6-liter I-4 Flex, 2.0-liter I-4.
In addition to the IB5 five-speed manual, there will also be the MMT6 six-speed manual AWD and the fuel efficient DPS6 PowerShift
The all-new 1.0 liter EcoBoost engine will debut in China in the all-new Ford EcoSport – offering the performance of a conventional 1.6-litre engine with less than 140g/km CO2 emissions. The 1.0-litre EcoBoost uses turbocharging and direct fuel injection to extract impressive levels of power and fuel efficiency from its three-cylinder engine block, which is so small that it can fit on a sheet of A4 paper.
Developed at Ford’s Dunton Technical Centre in the U.K., the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine features a new compact, high performance turbocharger design. The extremely fast response of the turbocharger and its ability to reach nearly 250,000 rpm results in virtually no turbo lag and peak torque of 170 Nm from 1,300-4,500 rpm. This high torque supports a fuel-efficient driving style and delivers a good performance feel and diesel-like torque experience.
The all-new EcoBoost engine also features an exhaust manifold cast into the cylinder head, which lowers the temperature of the exhaust gases and in turn enables the engine to run with the optimum fuel-to-air ratio across a wider rev band.
An advanced “split cooling” system reduces fuel consumption by warming the engine more quickly and – unique to the 1.0 engine –cast iron has been selected for the block, reducing the amount of energy needed for warm-up by up to 50 per cent compared with aluminium.
Intelligent ancillaries such as a variable air-conditioning compressor and oil pump also reduce demand on the engine – improving economy and emissions – while special coatings for engine components and intricate development of engine geometry result in minimal frictional losses.
Like its larger-capacity siblings, the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine will use twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) to further improve performance and economy. Ford has also employed an all-new camshaft actuator to speed up response times without sacrificing durability.
“The 1.0-litre EcoBoost delivers great low-speed responsiveness, power, torque and smoothness,” said Kumar Galhotra, vice president, Product Development, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa. “To produce an engine with such impressive performance and fuel economy clearly reflects our commitment to be class-leading in fuel economy around the world.”
An innovative design that immerses the two main engine drive belts in oil – resulting in quieter and more efficient running but with the durability of a chain.
A three cylinder engine brings with it the usual tendency for higher vibrations. Rather than employ the traditional method of adding energy-draining balancer shafts, Ford engineers have deliberately “unbalanced” the flywheel and pulley to offset the engine configuration. Ford believes these innovations combined with optimised engine mounts will deliver a truly refined performance feel perfected during 720,000 kilometres of tests – including 360,000 kilometres of durability trials and 10,000 kilometres of environmental testing.