There’s something about Ford cars. It’s not something you can see. It’s not even something that’s mentioned in the feature list. It is something that must be experienced first-hand. And all you have to do to experience it, is drive. Simply, get behind the wheel of any Ford car and set off. In minutes you’ll realise what we’re talking about. It’s the feel of the car. Actually, it’s how the car feels when you’re driving it. The experience is, in its simplest form, fun, and when you start pushing it, it goes from fun to exciting and all the way to exhilarating.
IT'S ALWAYS BEEN THERE
Fun to drive seems to be at the core of every Ford car. It’s not something they’ve just started focusing on. This aspect has always existed. Even when you look back at Fords that were sold in India years ago, you’d find that all cars, without exception, were great driver’s cars. They were so much fun that even their advertising positioned them in that manner. These were rare occasions where ads were telling the absolute truth about the cars they were selling. There was the Ford Ikon dubbed the ‘Josh Machine’ and its tagline was spot on. Then came the Fiesta which claimed you’d ‘Go Fida’ after just a five-minute test drive – absolutely right, again! There was something very special going on with these cars. If you looked for one thing that made it so, you’d be hard-pressed to find it. Because there was no ‘one thing’ that made these cars fantastic to drive. It was everything about them. The engine, of course, played a major role developing ample power and putting it down in a manner that felt and sounded exciting. The engine was supported in its efforts by the chassis/ monocoque body that maintained the rigidity required for the car to perform well. Then there was the suspension which found the right balance between soft and stiff to deliver a sporty experience. The interiors were practical and comfortable and the view from the windscreen was great. The steering felt fantastic and would ‘speak’ to the driver. It was almost like you could feel the road through it. The grip levels would inspire drivers to push a little harder on the accelerator.
IT WAS EVERYTHINGFord cars feel like they’re made by people who love cars for people who love cars. The cars feel like the enthusiasm of the makers and their buyers has seeped into its very DNA. When you look at the line-up of cars that Ford sells today, you know it’s still true. No matter what Ford you buy, you’re guaranteed a great time when you’re behind the wheel.
MUSTANGThe stallion of legend
The Mustang has been an iconic car ever since it was launched in the ‘60s. It has remained true to its core — a two-door coupé, a powerful engine in the front that drives the wheels at the back and a profile that’s unmistakably Mustang. And just like the horse on its logo, this Mustang is a wild creature.
The style is all Mustang. There’s that familiar grille with sleek, tightly designed headlights flanking it. There’s a power bulge in the bonnet that gives you an idea about the monster that waits under it. Its sleek profile, with a steeply angled windscreen and rear window, reminds you of the fastbacks that came before it. At the back, the retro appeal is strong, with a near-vertical tailbar, vertical tail-lights and a ‘GT’ badge bang in its centre. If you step back, you’ll even see that the glasshouse has been styled to resemble the canopy of a fighter jet.
The aircraft theme continues on the inside. There’s a blend of modern and retro that is certainly attractive. Hooded binnacles, centre console with a band of brushed aluminium, chromed-over toggle switches and a speedo that says ‘Ground Speed’. The cabin is large, the seats are comfortable, the second row is actually usable and there’s a surprising amount of space in there.
You get a hint of the wildness when you push the starter button. The Mustang lets out a raspy burble that’s almost all bass. 410hp waits to be unleashed from the massive 5.0-litre V8 that lives under that long bonnet. But if you’re expecting an explosion followed by a massive kick that knocks the wind out of you, you’re in for a surprise. Instead of that, when you stamp on the accelerator, the car squats onto its haunches and you get a fast, hard pull from the engine right from standstill all the way to 6,500rpm. The more you press down on that accelerator, the harder it pulls. It just doesn’t run out. The top-end performance is simply searing. The steering is fantastic and its ability to go in a straight line is legendary. And it doesn’t get confused in corners either. Get your line right, be patient with it, and then use that V8 to power smoothly out of the corner. Every once in a while that rear end will step out and you’ll counter to reel it back in. Or you could find that balance to hold it there and power-slide out of the corner. The Mustang allows you many, many of these special moments. When you’re on the track, the all-independent suspension helps manage the Mustang quite well.
But here’s the thing. You don’t need a race track to enjoy the Mustang. This is a car you could use every day on city streets. Wouldn’t that be an absolute treat?
Members of a family tend to resemble one another. It’s no different with the Ford Aspire. One look and you know it belongs to the Ford family. Its grille is similar to the Mustang and the Figo. It’s built with the same level of quality and attention to detail. It has safety features, a robust body structure with a high-strength steel cage that envelops you and your family in safety. It comes equipped with two airbags as standard and can offer a total of six airbags for enhanced protection. ABD with EBD prevents you from losing control in precarious situations. Certain models even have Hill Launch Assist, Traction Control System and Electronic Stability Program (ESP) that lets you drive without any worries. Of course, none of this dampens the driving experience. It has the same thrill as other Fords for the enthusiast behind the wheel.
Yes, the Aspire is available with three fun-to-drive engine options — a 1.5-litre diesel, a 1.2-litre petrol, with both mated to a five-speed manual transmission, and a 1.5-litre petrol that comes with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. This means you’ll get enough thrust when you put your foot down and drive it hard. It even responds better when you load up the suspension. And when you need to stop, you can trust the brakes. They inspire a lot of confidence with their tremendous stopping power. The steering is also direct and full of feel. It responds really well when you’re driving briskly and even when you’re driving slowly in traffic or while parking.
A SMOOTH RIDE
But because the Aspire is also meant for your family, comfort is an important factor. The suspension is plush and absorbent and does a good job of soaking up the bumps in the road. What’s even better is that the suspension does its job silently. It also has a spacious cabin that allows everyone to travel without being cramped and enough space in the boot for all their luggage. Automatic climate control means everyone is always comfortable. And because this system is very efficient, you save fuel too.
Of course, if you want something with more excitement than the normal Aspire, you can always go for the Aspire Sports Edition. It’s got all-black interiors, full of attitude, class, and obviously, comfort. It rides on large alloys for a sporty look. ‘S’ badging on the sides and a sporty grille leave no doubt that this car means business. And, to complete the Sports package, a unique ‘Tuned Suspension’ makes the handling much more sportier than normal.
Exciting every day
There’s no doubt that the Ford Figo is a smart-looking hatchback. There’s the Aston-esque front grille, peeled-back headlamps and the overall crisp and clean look. The roof flows neatly to the tail and everything is really well-proportioned. The best part of the car, however, is when you get into the seat behind the wheel. Now, it doesn’t matter which engine your Figo has – the 1.2-litre petrol, the 1.5-litre diesel, both with five-speed manual transmissions, or the 1.5-litre petrol with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission – they’re all typically Ford. This means, they’re all great to drive.
Now, what that translates to is that your everyday commute doesn’t only have to be tedious and boring. Traffic is soul-sucking, but the Figo can add a little dose of fun every time you see a little open space round you. And when you’re stuck in bumper-to-bumper conditions, you’ll definitely be comfortable too.
You’ll also be safe. The Figo has a driver airbag as standard but offers a total of six airbags, including side and curtain airbags, for added protection. The body has a high-strength steel cage to ensure that when the body takes an impact you’ll receive an added measure of safety. There’s ABS with EBD to ensure that, even in difficult conditions, you’re able to maintain control.
You want a Figo not just because it’s good-looking, fun to drive and comfortable, you also want it because it’s one of the most sensibly priced, one of the most powerful and one of the fastest accelerating hatchbacks in the market today. Sure, its petrol is one of the most powerful, but the diesel is also faster than all diesel hatchbacks in the same segment. All of them!
For those looking for something that’s a lot of fun and a little exclusive, there’s the Figo Sports Edition. It features a stylish dual-tone look that amplifies its fun factor. Your ride becomes way cooler with new and larger alloy wheels that help the attractive Figo stand out even more. The special sporty honeycomb grille makes a solid impression on everyone who looks at it. On the inside there’s red stitching on black to complete that sporty look. If you think the changes are just cosmetic, you’re wrong. This is, after all, a Ford. It’s even better than the standard Figo to drive with its unique ‘Tuned Suspension’ that makes it peppier than before.
After all, the DNA that runs through the family is the same. It’s almost like there’s a little bit of Mustang in every Ford.
Life and a lot of style
The Ford EcoSport has already thrilled many Indian car buyers. It looks good, it’s built well, priced well and, of course, it’s great to drive. What is rather amazing is how a compact SUV manages to feel like something full sized on the inside and out.
DESIGNED FOR YOU
The inside of the EcoSport is a nice place to be. And just because it is fun to drive doesn’t mean it compromises on comfort and practicality. It is built with all the creature comforts, tech support and safety features that will make your EcoSport the perfect partner for all your adventures.
INSPIRING TO DRIVE
Like all Fords, the EcoSport is very entertaining to drive. In fact, it will remind you of best parts of all the Fords from the past. The steering is light, provides great feedback and feels connected to the road. It’s direct and that makes handling excellent. Despite being tall, the EcoSport doesn’t pitch and roll. Add to that the superb levels of grip and you get a car that inspires confidence with every kilometre you cover. The suspension is silent, flattens a lot of road imperfections and ensures that your drive is a ton of fun.
With the EcoSport, you’ll probably be itching for weekends or times when you can jump in and drive off. It covers the miles so effortlessly that you’ll actually have to keep track of where you’ve reached. Straight roads, winding roads, ghats or expressways, the EcoSport is at home anywhere. With powerful but frugal engines, like the 1.0-litre EcoBoost turbo-petrol engine that develops 125hp, or the 1.5-litre diesel that churns out 100hp and 205Nm of torque, you’ll never want to stop driving.
THE NEW ECOSPORT
There will soon be a new EcoSport at a showroom near you. Here is what you can look forward to.
The new EcoSport will evolve in terms of design, style, safety, features and comfort. There’s a new sharper-looking front end with new projector headlamps, fog lamps, bumper and a hexagonal grille. New alloy wheels are also expected. It also gets revised interiors, with a new dashboard featuring a free-standing touchscreen (a 6.5-inch or a 8.0-inch unit, depending on the variant). It obviously features a host of safety systems to protect its occupants. The higher variants are also likely to get a first-in-class sunroof.
It’s nice being in command of a proper SUV. High seating position, commanding view, powerful engine under the hood and the bulk to scare away the pests (like rickshaws and bikers) that normally bother other cars. With the Endeavour, you get all that. But normally the SUVs in the market are soft-roaders that live on the road and are frightened of everything that’s larger than a pebble. Or you get the focused, hardcore SUVs that are phenomenal off the road but terrible on it and have negligible creature comforts. But because this is a Ford, you get an SUV that offers a great experience on the road and off it.
There is no compromise on comfort and space in the Endeavour. The driver’s seat offers great lateral support and is electrically adjustable. The second row is spacious and comfortable and there’s enough legroom for you to stretch comfortably. Obviously, the cabin features materials of the best quality. Chrome and faux metal are applied elegantly through the interiors. The integrated touchscreen and instrument cluster looks cool and the steering wheel is crafted beautifully. Supple leather seats feel luxurious and comfortable and the customisable cabin lighting lifts the overall ambience. The cabin hasn’t lost out on practicality. There’s plenty of space for the things you could carry every day and it has grab handles all over because it is still an off-roader.
Power for this full-sized SUV comes via two engine options, a 158hp, 2.2-litre four-cylinder TDCi engine and a 197hp, 3.2-litre, five-cylinder TDCi engine. With this engine and a wonderfully balanced suspension, the Endeavour gobbles up bad roads and, as speeds increases, it feels more and more settled and stable. If you need to take it off the road, the Endeavour provides some very high-tech support. You can select Snow and Mud, Sand, and Rock modes that adjust traction and throttle settings to help you get out of whatever it is you’ve driven into. Hill descent and hill start assist help with inclines and declines. And in case you’re especially bored and intend to cross lakes or rivers, the Endeavour can wade through 800mm of water.
But what will surprise you the most, is the way it handles. Despite weighing over two tonnes, it’s very agile. The steering is great and the Endeavour feels very light-footed. So if you’re concerned that this big SUV won’t do well in city traffic, think again. The way it moves will blow you away. After all, don’t forget which family the Endeavour comes from — Ford; cars for car lovers.