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Filed under: Concept Cars, Budget, Crossover, Misc. Auto Shows, India, South America, Design/Style

While we've been consumed with the ramp-up to next week's Detroit Auto Show, there's a more pressing matter on the international car events calendar - this week's New Delhi Auto Expo. Ford Motor Company isn't overlooking the burgeoning biennial show, and it's taking the opportunity to reveal its first-ever world debut at the show, the next Ford EcoSport.

Debuting with a sliver of show-only frosting (check out those glitzy headlamps), the tiny crossover is about the same size as the Fiesta five-door, and it's built on the Blue Oval's new global B-Car architecture. Ford isn't revealing much in the way of powertrain specifics for this thinly disguised model, but our sources tell us the EcoSport will see the first application of the company's new 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine in India (yes, that means there will be an EcoSport EcoBoost), and presumably there will be an ethanol variant as well.

The upright CUV has been designed with emerging markets in mind, namely portions of Asia and South America, so we're unlikely to see it in North America (we'd be more likely to receive the B-Max MPV), though our sources tell us that an eventual European market appearance is not out of the question. Roughly 90 percent of cars in those markets are B-Segment or smaller, and the previous generation of the Brazilian-built EcoSport has sold some 750,000 units since hitting the market nine years ago.

While the original EcoSport sold almost exclusively in Brazil, the new model will spread its wings to take on a more global role as part of the company's One Ford agenda. To be assembled in both India and Brazil, the EcoSport represents the first time that Ford's team in Camacari, Brazil has taken the lead in conceiving a global product, another indication of the market's growing importance. The new EcoSport will be a lynchpin for the Blue Oval, who expect the Asia Pacific region to swallow up to one out of every three Ford vehicles sold by 2020 (it's just one in six today).

Want more proof of India's rise in importance? Officials tell us that Ford plans to treat the Delhi show as a first-tier show going forward, on par with Detroit, the Frankfurt Motor Show, and so on. Ostensibly, the show will replace a Tokyo Motor Show presence for the Dearborn automaker, as Ford was absent from last month's show in Japan.Next Ford EcoSport now playing at New Delhi Auto Expo originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Jan 2012 05:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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