The 2018 Ford Aspire (facelift), which goes on sale tomorrow, has been entirely revealed in IAB's fresh batch of images and new data from Autocar India. The mid-cycle facelift brings in a handful of cosmetic changes along with new features and new petrol engines to the Blue Oval's entry-level sedan.
The highlights of the updated styling package include a new chrome-plated mesh front grille, new front bumper with C-shaped chrome appliques, smoke-effect headlights, new alloy wheels, and a new rear bumper with faux air scoops on its edges. The highlight of the interior is an updated dashboard that seems to be inspired from that of the Freestyle. The mid-range trims feature a 7.0-inch FLY infotainment unit, while the top-end model has been equipped with a 6.5-inch SYNC 3.0 infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The high-end variants feature a push start-stop button near the instrument panel.
Under the hood, the 2018 Ford Aspire (facelift) features a 1.2-litre, three-cylinder engine from the company's Dragon series of motors. It outputs 96 PS and 120 Nm. The ARAI-certified fuel economy with this engine is 20.4 km/l. Compared to the old model with the 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine, this is a 6.19% increment in fuel economy. Power and torque are up by 9% and 7% respectively. The current IB5 five-speed manual transmission has made way for a lighter and more accurate Getrag (codename: MX65) unit.
The automatic variant will get its juice from the new 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine from the EcoSport. It delivers 123 PS and 150 Nm. The ARAI-certified fuel efficiency of this configuration is 16.3 km/l, which is 4.1% lower compared to the equivalent configuration of the old model. Peak power and torque, however, are 10% and 7% higher respectively. As opposed to a dual-clutch transmission of the outgoing model, the updated version sports a six-speed torque converter unit. While this could be the reason for the drop in frugality, it should help the manufacturer price the car more aggressively.
The diesel version retains the current 1.5-litre turbocharged unit, albeit, with a minor re-tune that bumps up the fuel economy to 26.1 km/l, from 25.83 km/l previously.
The 'Ambiente' trim features front power windows, adjustable front and rear seat headrests and tilt steering. All four electric windows, radio with USB, Bluetooth and 4 speakers, tachometer and keyless entry are offered Trend onwards. Furthermore, the Trend+ trim and above feature a 7.0-inch capacitive touchscreen infotainment system, front fog lamps, rear defogger and automatic climate control. 'Titanium' trim gets a push button start while the range-topping 'Titanium+' model comes with a 6.5-inch SYNC3 infotainment unit that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Safety features across all the trims of the 2018 Ford Aspire (facelift) include dual front airbags, rear parking sensors, ABS with EBD, and front row seatbelt reminder. The automatic version provides Hill start assist, ESP, and Traction control. The new model will go on sale with a standard 5-year/1,00,000 km warranty instead of the 2-year/1,00,000 km cover offered on the outgoing version.