When a new vehicle is introduced, all the details have to be in order, even those of speaker placement, antenna systems and ergonomics for control of the connected car.
Ford’s 2018 EcoSport crossover made its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Eric Loeffler, chief program engineer for the EcoSport, says connectivity is as important as superior sound quality. Ford partnered with the B&O Play division of Harman Kardon to develop a 675 W, 10-speaker sound system for the EcoSport. Loeffler says all of that connects to the third-generation of Ford’s Sync infotainment control system, which allows voice and touchscreen control of audio and other functions, and is available with Apple Car Play and Android Auto connectivity.
The driver can easily reach the touchscreen without lifting the shoulder blades from the seat back. That touchscreen display is a free-floating screen at the top of the dashboard’s center stack with 8-, 6- and 4-inch versions for the different trim levels offered. On the EcoSport, there’s a shark fin mast antenna paired with a diversity antenna embedded in the backlight of the vehicle. Loeffler says the system will be enabled for HD Radio reception. The EcoSport is scheduled to appear in Ford dealerships in late 2017 as a 2018 model.
B&O Play was acquired from Bang & Olufsen in 2015 by Harman.