What I think Ford should offer with their new 2018 Ecosport is an off-road package like what the Renegade has with the trailhawk trim. I'm sure the demographic they're aiming for will be more than happy to pay a bit more for off-road suspension, skid plates, lift, etc.
I agree with that. Especially if this is geared towards the younger crowd, they love things that make them stand out. The only thing is, they'll have to manufacture something that's affordable as well. Maybe some tow hooks, side steps, those kind of things.
I'd like to sit a bit higher with a set of off-road suspension, but if Ford does come out with a Off-Road package then it's most likely going to be small additions like the ones you've listed. Jeep is more known for their off road vehicles so I can see why they went the extra mile with the Renegade package.
Don't hope or expect an off-road package, if we get anything it will be minimal. First they need to establish sales with regular models before going that route. It's hard to justify these moves when your bringing out a completely new product.
Reality is very few people will change the tires, aside from winter tires. AWD is just their way to appeal to anyone. This is a global product so with that comes global features which AWD is surely one of. We're actually late adopters of the ES.