Ford dials up its entry-level hatch with more style and sportier driving.
After launching the Ford Mustang for the first time in India last year, Ford has brought a sporty offering for the masses this year - the Ford Figo S. The S variant is nothing like an ST performance or an RS high-performance variant the Blue Oval offers in the international markets, but a performance variant that takes into account our roads and usage. It's rather similar to the Ford Fiesta S that was very well received when it arrived in India back in 2008.
IAB got its hands on the Ford Figo S (Ford Figo Sports edition) in Ahmedabad and drove it all the way to the Great Rann of Kutch and back, experiencing the car on smooth tarmac roads and even rough roads on the desert. Here's our first impression of the Ford Figo's souped-up variant.
The Ford Figo S gets a number styling revisions on the outside for a distinctive look. Up front, the Sports edition model gets smoked (black-painted) headlamps and black honeycomb grille with super alloy painted grille. The sides get the sporty treatment with black/white ORVMs for a dual-tone look, decals with 'S' logo and 15-inch Panther Black alloy wheels shod with bigger, 195/55 R15 tyres. The rear-end of the car has mediocre enhancements with decals on outer ends of the bumper and a tailgate spoiler.
The Ford Figo S is available in Sparkling Gold, Ruby Red, Ingot Silver and Oxford White body colours with black ORVMs and roof, as well as the Absolute Black body colour with white ORVMs and roof.
Ride & Handling
The Ford Figo S gets no changes to the engines from the standard Ford Figo. Under the hood, there rests the same 1.2-litre Ti-VCT four-cylinder petrol engine or the 1.5-litre TDCi four-cylinder diesel engine from the standard model. The petrol engine produces 64.7 kW (86.73 hp) at 6,300 rpm and 112 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm, while the diesel engine develops 73.8 kW (98.93 hp) at 3,750 rpm and 215 Nm of torque between 1,750 rpm and 3,000 rpm. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard. Figo S buyers don't get the option for the 1.5-litre TiVCT petrol engine and 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission combo.
Ford had given us keys to the Figo S diesel, and obviously, that's the model we wanted to drive. The diesel engine, which the car shares with the EcoSport, had us impressed right from the beginning when we drove the standard Figo diesel back in late-2015. Ford hasn't made any changes to the engine, and we doubt you'd need any. There's only a fair amount of lag at low engine speeds, and just from between 1,500 rpm and 2,000 rpm, the turbocharger kicks in to offer ample torque, more than enough for some spirited driving in an A-segment hatchback.
The Ford Figo S is not at all about how faster it is or how quicker it does the 0-100 km/h sprint. It's about the way it drives, an aspect that the previous generation Ford Figo was much better in than the current model. Ford has tweaked the suspension system for the Figo Sports edition. Reduced height of the springs (-10 mm) has stiffened the suspension setup, but not to the extent that it compromises on the ride quality in the city. A beefier anti-roll bar in the front offers better grip. The ride height is 5 mm lower, but the ground clearance remains the same - 174 mm. While the standard Ford Figo gets 175/65 R14 tyres, the Ford Figo S runs on 195/55 R15 tyres. The wider tyres offer more traction and have improved the car's handling.
Due to the various enhancements, the Ford Figo in its Sports variant gained over 10 kg in weight. In effect, the fuel economy figure has dropped slightly, from 18.16 km/l to 18.12 km/l in the petrol model and from 25.83 km/l to 24.29 km/l in the diesel model.
The Ford Figo S is based on the Ford Figo Titanium and features an all-black interior to go with the sporty theme. It's strange why Ford didn't offer this variant in the top-end Titanium+ grade, and that means that you don't get the Ford SYNC infotainment system with voice control or a CD/MP3 player. The Figo Sports Edition is equipped with features like automatic climate control, MyFord Dock smartphone holder, 4-speaker audio system with USB and Aux-in connectivity, driver seat height adjustment, leather-wrapped steering wheel with red stitching and Proteus Black bezel, seats with red stitching and Proteus Black audio bezel.
Price & Verdict
The Ford Figo Sports Edition is priced at INR 6,31,900 (ex-showroom Delhi) with the petrol engine and at INR 7,21,600 (ex-showroom Delhi) with the diesel engine. Over the standard variant, the Sports Edition variant commands a premium of INR 50,000. While some may argue in favour of aftermarket enhancements for that amount of money, Ford is offering a good deal of enhancements for the price. The Ford Figo Sports Edition is arguably the sportiest looking car one could buy for that money.
The Sports Edition variant offers a modest improvement in the driving dynamics, matching what one would expect for that minor bump in the price, in addition to a more aggressive exterior and a few interior styling enhancements.