Ford India will launch the mid-cycle refresh for the Aspire on 4 October 2018. Ahead of the launch, the company has revealed the 2018 Ford Aspire (facelift) on its official website. The manufacturer has announced the commencement of the bookings for the new model.
The front-end of the refreshed Aspire features a sleeker grille that has a chrome finish. It also receives a bolder bumper that sports C-shaped chrome appliques around the foglamp housings. The side profile remains mostly unchanged, with the only disparity from the new 15-inch alloy wheels for the top-spec Titanium Plus trim. At the rear, the new model carries an updated bumper that looks a tad sportier owing to the faux air scoops at its edges. The refreshed exterior should help the Figo-based compact sedan benefit from a slightly higher road presence.
The interior of the 2018 Ford Aspire sports a new dashboard that comes from the Freestyle CUV. On the top-end trim, it features a touchscreen interface for the SYNC3 infotainment unit, which replaces the dot-matrix display and several buttons of the current model's first generation SYNC unit. The lower variants get the FLY touch unit. Furthermore, the updated model receives a push start-stop button near its instrument cluster. The beige & black colour theme has been carried over from the pre-facelift version.
The most critical update is under the hood. The 2018 Ford Aspire (facelift) will go on sale with two new petrol engines that will replace the current motors. The range-topping model will be sold with a new 1.5-litre three-cylinder unit that made its debut on the Ford EcoSport facelift. The new engine, which belongs to the Dragon series of motors, outputs a maximum power of 123 PS and a peak torque of 150 Nm. This leads to a power advantage of 10% and a torque advantage of 7% over the outgoing 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine (110 PS/140 Nm). The new motor will come mated to a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission only.
The lower models will feature a new 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine that replaces the 1.2-litre four-cylinder unit. The new motor comes mated to a new Getrag (code: MX65) 5-speed manual transmission that offers more accurate shifts than the IB5 gearbox of the current version. The new motor produces a maximum power of 96 PS and a peak torque of 120 Nm, which is a 9% increment in the power and a 7% increase in the torque outputs over the outgoing engine's 88 PS-112 Nm. The diesel version will continue to draw power from the earlier 1.5-litre turbocharged motor. Paired with a five-speed manual transmission, the oil-burner produces a maximum power & torque of 100 PS & 215 Nm.
With average monthly sales of 1,083 units*, the Ford Aspire has been lagging behind its two main rivals - the Maruti Dzire (24,099 units*) and the new Honda Amaze (9,679 units monthly in its first 4 months of sales). The 2018 Ford Aspire is likely to help the company establish a stronger foothold on the entry-level sedan market.
*March 2018 - August 2018