Ford India Today took the covers off their all new upcoming crossover- Ford Freestyle which the company brands as Compact Utility Vehicle (CUV), ahead of 2018 Auto Expo. Ford is among the other companies who are not coming to the auto expo and thus seems Ford unveiled the car before Auto Expo. The Ford Freestyle is an old name tag which was initially launched in 2005 in US as a crossover wagon which was later discontinued in 2009. The Figo crossover is now named as Freestyle and the Crossover is Figo-based. The Car has been spied testing in India since few months. The Launch is expected to be in second quarter somewhere around April 2018.
Though the car is based on Figo, it has huge cosmetic changes with mild off-road characteristics as well. You can really differentiate it with Figo in every aspects. The Car looks rugged and muscular with its side cladding ruining over the wheel arches which has been nicely integrated to the front and rear bumper. At the front the car gets a swept-black headlamps with a hexagonal mesh grille which sits lowers than its Hatch version, inspired from Mustang. The front has silver color plastic cladding beneath the front bumper which has more SUV like appeal. The Sides too have racing strips over the side cladding. The 6 spoke 15” inch dark alloy wheels and the Roof rails adds advantage to its rugged character.
In the Inside the cross over doesn’t has much change from its existing Figo lineup except the dark beige dash board and central infotainment system with SYNC3 support. The car also come with the same safety equipment which has ABS, EBD and airbags. Despite of having long list of safety the car failed miserably with 0 stars in crash test conducted by Latin NCAP. Though the new crossover Freestyle has not been yet tested.
The new car will be featuring Ford’s In-house developed new engine – a 1.2 litre three cylinder petrol from Dragon Engine family. The motor makes 96hp of peak power with 120Nm of torque mated with a 5 speed gear box and automatic is expected. The Diesel motor is 1.5 Litre TDCi engine which generates 100hp. additionally, the Freestyle’s suspension and steering set-up is different from the current Figo which will offer a lighter steering at low speed and a smooth drive.
In India we have a trend of manufacturers launching the same product under different category like we had Polo and Polo Cross, Etios and Etios Cross, Punto and Punto Cross, Grand i10 and Accent, Swift and Dzire. Though the crossover section under these has been a loss making for manufacturers as they are just an old car with new cosmetic changes. The Ford Figo when launched had good response but failed to grab the growing market and now the car barely makes 700 units each month on an average. The Freestyle, expected to be launched in April 2018 is likely to be priced around Rs. 6.4 – 7.9 Lakh (Ex-Showroom, Delhi) which is slightly higher than the Toyota Etios Cross. Well, we are still awaiting for the official figures.
The Freestyle will lock horns with rivals like Polo Cross, Etios Cross, Maruti S-Cross, Fiat Punto Cross, Hyundai i20 Active Cross and will also need to face the successfully running Tata Nexon.