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 EcoSport Wows International Media in Goa

DATE: Will be calculated from "Release Start Date" field.

GOA, India — Driving on India’s notorious roads can be an intimidating experience, especially for visitors. But for international media attending the all-new EcoSport drive around the famous beaches of Goa, the urban SUV made everything so much easier.

At Ford India’s ‘Technical Deep Dive’ of the all-new EcoSport, over 40 journalists from countries including South Africa, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand descended on Goa and participated in the drive to get a hands-on feel of the SUV, and returned home impressed.
The international journalists, who attended the drive in three waves, had the opportunity to interact with Ford subject matter experts the evening before as they explained the features of the vehicle in an interactive session. Addressing them were Ford’s design experts Ehad Koub and Juan De Pena, Trevor Worthington, director of passenger vehicles and SUV program, Ford Asia Pacific, Frank Hoffman, manager of powertrain planning from Ford Asia Pacific, Rod Philips, Asia Pacific SYNC engineering manager and others.
“What you can see here is how we are bringing our global resources and expertise together to create this world class product,” said Joginder Singh, president and managing director, Ford India.  
Goa’s narrow roads, combined with speeding traffic interspersed with cattle and stray dogs and dysfunctional road signs can be terrifying to foreign drivers at first. But in a pre-drive briefing, Ford India representatives briefed the participants on speed limits, traffic rules and route discipline. Still, the journalists were a bit apprehensive.
After the flag off, the journalists followed the pilot Ford Endeavour in a neat line, with instructions being radioed to them, and soon were greeted by the open highways where the EcoSport came into its own. With its excellent driving dynamics, refined power delivery and the nifty performance of the 1.0 litre EcoBoost and smooth suspension, the all-new EcoSport won a few more fans.     
“The EcoBoost is cool…when we saw it yesterday we were a little apprehensive. But driving the EcoSport has changed all that. The steering is lovely and it has all the space you need,” said Melinda Ferguson from True Love magazine in South Africa, adding that “I think this can be a good car for women with its high driving position, good acceleration and excellent suspension…we were literally flying over the bumps!” Her friend Melanie Ramjee, a journalist from Hypress magazine, also enjoyed the drive and highlighted its superior ride quality and interior space.
The journalists took a photo stop at St Jacintha’s church midway and admired its beautiful Gothic architecture. After a brief halt it was time to rotate the drive and back on the highways for the southward leg.
“As I negotiate the cows, motorcyclists, pedestrians and trucks in the new Ford EcoSport mini SUV on a buzzing stretch of road in Goa, on India's west coast, it soon becomes apparent why this type of car can work in the urban jungle”, said Matt Campbell, an auto journalist from Australia.
“The 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder EcoBoost engine packs 92kW of power and 170Nm of torque, and is perky enough for the manic overtaking maneuvers you often have to make in this type of driving,” Campbell later wrote on Drive.com.au webpage.
“The electric power steering system skillfully blends a light low-speed weight for easy manoeuvring and parking with a heavier weight at higher speeds…Squat dimensions help keep the Ford EcoSport from rolling excessively like many larger and taller SUVs, making it surprisingly rewarding around corners,” remarked Timothy Beissmann of CarAdvice from Australia.
“We averaged 8.8L/100km in a chaotic, cattle-lined 130km loop that included plenty of high-density traffic as well as some more spirited bursts when the roads opened up,” he added.
At the end of the drive, the apprehension had all but vanished and there were huge smiles and adulation for Ford’s urban SUV. “It is hard to believe a 1,000 CC, 3 cylinder engine can offer such great torque. The car is very detailed, you can see lots of storage, and innovative changes. Also, I like the SYNC system very much, it is something that may attract people to buy the car,” concluded Yu Hsiang Chang of Car Guide, Taiwan, with a big smile.
Ford India, which will open bookings for the all-new EcoSport in June, plans to manufacture the vehicle at its facility in Chennai and make it a regional export hub for several international markets.
 
International journalists give the thumbs up to all-new EcoSport
Journalists pose with Ford officials at St Jacintha’s Church, Goa
 
   
Journalists from Australia and New Zealand shoot the EcoSport during a photo-op
The convoy driven by journalists on a Goa highway
   
South African journalists interact with a Ford subject matter expert
 
   

  

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5/22/2013 5:45 AM