While Ford might have shut its local operations in India, the carmaker continues to be very proactive in neighboring countries. Earlier in March this year, the American carmaker introduced Equator in China which was developed with local partner Jiangling Motors. The three-row SUV has now received a smaller sibling in the form of Equator Sport.
Equator Sport is a 5-seater derivative of the full-size Equator with compact dimensions. The SUV has been revealed at the ongoing Guangzhou Auto Show and like the larger derivative will specifically cater to the Chinese market. Both SUVs are said to be underpinned by the same platform.
- Exterior Design
The new Equator Sport is a brand new vehicle under its skin, even though it may have borrowed a few design cues from its bigger sibling. It flaunts the same front fascia which features a large radiator grille flanked by thin LED headlights with C-shaped DRLs as Equator. The chunky front bumper along with a silver-coloured skid plate gives the SUV a rugged appeal.
The side profile adds to the muscular appeal with massive wheel arches and door sills wrapped by black claddings. The 20-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels along with sharp creases on side panels add a hint of sophistication to the SUV. At rear, the design is almost similar to the larger Equator but Sport misses out on the LED stripe connecting the taillights.
The major variation is the smaller dimensions of Equator Sport. The SUV offers a wheelbase of 2,765 mm which is 140 mm shorter than the larger Equator. The overall length stands at 4630mm which makes it similar to the Territory mid-size SUV sold by Ford in South American markets. Equator Sport stands tall at 1750mm which is similar to the standard Equator.
The biggest change inside the cabin is the seating layout which can accommodate five occupants in Equator Sport as opposed to six or seven on boarders in the larger model. Other than this, it gets more or less the same dashboard layout with a dual-screen layout for the digital instrument console and touchscreen infotainment display. The overall appearance of the cabin looks cleaner.
Powering Equator Sport is a new 1.5-liter, four-cylinder turbo petrol engine that dishes out 170 bhp and 260 Nm of peak torque. Power is sent to all four wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission. The claimed maximum speed is rated 180 kmph. In comparison, the larger Equator gets a 2.0-litre turbo petrol mill mated to a DCT automatic gearbox.
As far as India launch is concerned, there is probably no plans to launch the Equator SUV or the Equator Sport in India. Ford has said they will focus on high-end premium models like the Mustang or the Mach-E. These will be imported into as CBUs and will command a hefty price tag.
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