Ford SVT Raptor Inspired EcoSport Storm Debuts In Brazil

The annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas isn't the only place to catch cool (and slightly overdone) machinery this week: The Sao Paulo Auto Show has also managed to attract some visually loud concepts, in the form of Ford's Troller T4 rescue vehicle concept that we saw last week, and now the Ford EcoSport Storm.

The Ford EcoSport is available in dozens of world markets, and makes use of the Ford Fiesta (yes, really) platform, wrapping the small chassis with a tall crossover body -- it's the same formula that's worked for the Sonic-based Buick Encore here. Powered by a 1.0-liter diesel or 1.5-liter gas engine, the EcoSport manages to return impressive fuel economy numbers, ranging from 37 mpg to 53 mpg in various forms. The front-wheel drive EcoSport also makes use of the 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine that we just received in the U.S.-market Ford Fiesta, with the ground clearance and power being just right for emerging markets. And it all comes in a package that's 14 inches shorter than a Ford Focus hatch.

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The EcoSport Beauty concept features a luxury interior and elegant exterior trim items. Photo by Ford

If you see overtones of the Ford Raptor in the EcoSport Storm, you're not the only one. The EcoSport Storm features a plastic mesh grille with giant Ford lettering, black wheels with a chrome ring wearing 215/75 R15  tires, LED fog lamps, a custom paint job with a matte black hood, custom graphics, and a Blue Storm paint color.

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The EcoSport Beast concept is meant to be a rugged, sporty version of the crossover. Photo by Ford

Ford brought a couple other concepts based on the EcoSport to Sao Paulo alongside the Storm. Dubbed the Beauty and the Beast, the former wears a matte copper paint and showcases upmarket features like 18-inch wheels and a luxurious interior with leather surfaces and bucket seats, while the latter is meant to be a sportier offering that features bike racks in place of an expensive interior.

So far Ford claims there are no current plans to introduce the EcoSport to the U.S. However, the company has to be watching the red-hot crossover market here -- and the runaway success of the EcoSport-sized Buick Encore -- very closely.

Jay Ramey - Jay Ramey is an Associate Editor with Autoweek, and has been with the magazine since 2013. Jay also likes to kayak and bike.

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