2015 is a big year for Ford India as it gears up to enter the compact sedan segment, and replace its long-standing Figo hatchback with the next generation model. The former will see the launch of the Ford Figo Aspire, a sedan tailor-made for the Indian market. Here are 5 things we know about the Figo Aspire:
1. New 1.2L petrol engine:
The Figo Aspire will be powered by a new 1.2-liter TiVCT petrol engine, and the tried-and-tested 1.5-liter TDCi diesel engine. Sources tell Indian Autos Blog that the petrol motor will produce 85 PS, while the diesel will be calibrated for 'excellent' fuel efficiency. Both engines will be paired to a 5-speed manual transmission.
2. Segment-first dual-clutch transmission:
The Figo Aspire is confirmed to get the 6-speed dual-clutch transmission, which is also seen on the Ford EcoSport. This modern 10-year maintenance free 'PowerShift' unit from the Fiesta features dry sump lubrication, both first-in-segment features. The 6-speed gearbox is likely to be paired with a 1.5-liter petrol engine.
3. Expected to offer class-leading dynamics:
The new Figo Aspire and the forthcoming Figo hatchback are basically based on a re-engineered version of the old Fiesta's platform, which Ford calls as the Global B-Platform. Ford engineers have upped the rigidity by including high-tensile steel in its construction. With Ford products setting a benchmark for handling, the Figo Aspire is expected to be a fun-to-drive car.
4. First-in-class features:
The new Figo Aspire will offer first-in-class safety and convenience features. Ford has confirmed that the top-end variant will get 6 airbags (dual front, side and curtain airbags) in addition to ABS and EBD. Further, the carmaker's SYNC with AppLink entertainment system with Voice Commands will also be seen. Finally, the Ford MyKey allows the owner to restrict the top-speed and music volume of the car, which could be a useful feature when lending the car to someone else. ESP will be available in the segment for the first time, but only on the Figo Aspire automatic transmission variant.
5. First Made-in-Gujarat product for Ford India:
The Figo Aspire will be Ford India's first product to roll out of its new Sanand manufacturing plant in Gujarat. Later in the year, this plant will also manufacture the new Figo hatchback. Both cars will be made here for domestic as well as export consumption.
Rival cars: Honda Amaze, Maruti Dzire, Tata Zest, Hyundai Xcent
Expected Price: INR 5.5-7 lakhs, ex-Showroom
Tentative Launch: July 2015