Ford's subcompact crossover needs an update, desperately.
The 2020 Ford EcoSport is a strange vehicle. Despite only arriving in the United States in 2018, the current EcoSport dates back to 2012 when it first launched to global markets. You can feel the EcoSport's age when you drive it, especially when compared to newer rivals like the Chevrolet Trailblazer, Honda HR-V, and Kia Seltos. Ford has a replacement for the EcoSport ready in Europe; it's called the Puma, and Ford is even planning a hotter Puma ST.
We've already argued that the Puma should act as a straight replacement for the current EcoSport, but Ford has regrettably chosen not to bring that model stateside. In its place, we propose the next best thing, a next-generation EcoSport rendering from Brazilian rendering artist, Kleber Silva.
From the front angle, you could mistake Silva's creation for the European Ford Puma. While the front end is lifted from the Puma, Silva borrowed the rest of the body from an entirely different Ford vehicle. You may recognize the rear and side profiles from the Ford Territory, an electric SUV model only sold in China. With some larger wheels, the rendered EcoSport gives off some serious Range Rover Evoque vibes, which is high praise for a subcompact crossover wearing the Blue Oval badge.
As for the powertrain, we have several options in mind. The Puma's 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder EcoBoost engine would make a suitable entry-level option producing 153 horsepower, while the Bronco Sport's 181-hp 1.5-liter three-cylinder could serve as the more potent option.
With just two ST models left in Ford's portfolio, we'd like to see a performance version here, using either the same tuned version of the 1.5-liter engine producing 200 hp or a larger 2.0-liter four-cylinder producing around 250 hp. If Ford kept the weight low enough, an EcoSport ST could rival the upcoming Hyundai Kona N.