Ford may have just brought out the new Freestyle cross-hatch, and reintroduced the lusty EcoBoost engine on the EcoSport but its India line-up overhaul is far from complete. The carmaker has major and minor updates lined up for its other models in the coming year. The first of the new launches will be the thoroughly upgraded Aspire compact sedan that will come in June 2018. UPDATE: The launch has been pushed to September 2018.
Redone front-end styling, reminiscent of its Freestyle sibling, will set the new Aspire apart from the outgoing version. More comprehensive will be the changes on the inside. The updated Aspire will sport a new dashboard (again from the Freestyle), with the talking point in the cabin being Ford’s brilliant Sync3 touchscreen infotainment system. You can expect the updated Aspire to also get a features upgrade to better take on new rivals like the Maruti Suzuki Dzire and Honda Amaze. As for the engines, the 100hp, 1.5-litre diesel will be carried over from the current Aspire, but the 88hp, four-cylinder 1.2 petrol will make way for Ford’s new 96hp, 1.2-litre, three-cylinder engine. Five-speed manual transmissions will be standard but there will be a petrol automatic option as well. The big news is that the automatic in question will be a torque converter unit and not a dual-clutch as was on offer before. Tweaks to the suspension will complete the Aspire upgrade.
Come November 2018, Ford will also bring out the updated Figo. It will benefit from the same set of updates as the Aspire, which means revised styling, an improved cabin, more kit and the new 1.2-litre petrol engine. And just like the Aspire, the Figo too will be available with a torque converter automatic with the petrol engine. It is interesting that Ford has categorically said it will not do lower-cost automated manual transmissions because the system’s characteristics are at odds with Ford’s fun-to-drive DNA.
The updated Endeavour will make its way to India in early-2019. Unveiled only recently in markets abroad, the facelift is as mild as they come. The brand-new engine option on the model shown abroad is worth taking note of, though. It’s a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel that makes 180hp and 420Nm in single turbo guise, and 213hp and 500Nm in twin-turbo form. The engine comes mated to a 10-speed automatic gearbox. While still speculative, it is possible Ford could bring the new engine-gearbox combo to India in time to meet the stringent BS-VI emission norms that come into effect in 2020.
Completing the line-up revitalisation in early 2019 will be the facelifted Mustang. A new face aside, the pony will get a power upgrade for its 5.0-litre V8 while a 10-speed automatic will replace the existing six-speed unit.