Ford India is pulling out all stops with its all-new Figo Aspire compact sedan, which was unveiled at the inauguration of the company’s spanking new plant at Sanand in Gujarat. The Aspire and the new Figo (the hatchback derivative, expected later in the year) are expected to account for over 60 percent of Ford India’s sales.
Though the specifications of the Aspire are yet to be officially announced, company sources have revealed that the model will be offered with multiple engine and transmission options to cater to a wide price range within the compact sedan segment.
The base model of the Aspire is expected with a 1.2-litre petrol which according to the company will set a benchmark in fuel efficiency. This 1.2 motor is the same Sigma engine in the previous Figo, but gets a four-valve head and twin camshafts with variable valve timing. The extra hardware is expected to boost power from 70bhp to close over 80bhp.
The diesel option in the Aspire is the tried-and-tested 1.5-litre DV5 motor which powers the Ecosport, but company sources have hinted that the Aspire’s diesel engine could have a slight increase in power and torque. Some sources say that power has been increased to 100bhp whilst the hatchback version will get the current 89bhp version. The increase in power hasn’t come at the cost of fuel efficiency and in fact the revised 1.5 diesel is understood to have even better efficiency than before.
Like with the Ecosport and Fiesta, the automatic Aspire will be powered by the larger 109bhp 1.5 Sigma engine mated to a six-speed automatic dual-clutch transmission (DCT). Ford ruled out an AMT option saying that it wouldn’t be smooth enough for the Aspire customers who prefer the seamless drive feel of the more sophisticated (and expensive) twin-clutch gearbox. Also pushing the cost up is the higher duty slab which the 1.5 litre engine will attract. Hence, the Aspire 1.5 auto is expected to be more expensive than its rivals, all of which are powered by 1.2 litre petrols which get a 12 percent excise advantage.
Ford has ruled out the 1.0 litreEcoboost for the Aspire due to cost regions. “The injection system and turbocharger is really expensive and in this price-sensitive segment we feel it won’t give as much value as in the Ecosport” said a Ford insider.
Pricing has not yet been announced but like with the Ecosport, Ford is likely to surprise us again with a very aggressive price when the Aspire goes on sale sometime in June this year.