Ford has announced it will take the wraps off its new Figo-based cross-hatchback on January 31, 2018. The cross-hatch has been spied testing a number of times and we have had an exclusive drive in a pre-production prototype of the model, as well.
Reportedly named the Freestyle, the crossover version of the Figo will sport rugged, SUV-esque cosmetic changes, including a higher ground clearance, roof rails, body cladding, fatter tyres and larger wheels.
On the inside, lower-spec variants of the Figo-based crossover will share the 6.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with lower-spec EcoSport trims. Higher-spec models will have the 8.0-inch system with Ford’s Sync 3, instead. The top-spec trims will also get six airbags, ABS and ESP.
The highlight of what is expected to be called the Ford Freestyle is under the bonnet. A new 95hp/115Nm, 1.2-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine from the carmaker’s Dragon series, will debut on the cross-hatchback. It will be mated to a new five-speed manual transmission from Getrag, replacing the older IB5 unit.
As per our drive experience, a few notable differences between the Figo hatch and the crossover included the new steering and suspension set-up. The model is decidedly fun-to-drive and has a segment-leading ride-handling package, which is somewhat typical of Ford.
More details about the Hyundai i20 Active and Honda WR-V rival are expected to be revealed closer to the date of its unveiling. Stay tuned.
What to expect from the new Ford cross-hatchback
New cars for 2018: Upcoming hatchbacks