Snapshot – For American automaker Ford, 2015 is turning out to be an eventful year in India. Close on the heels of kickstarting production at its second manufacturing facility in India, at Sanand, Gujarat, Ford plans to get into the compact sedan segment. The automaker will also replace two of its current cars, in order to keep with the changing competition. Seeking to bolster its brand image, Ford will also launch an iconic muscle car here. By the end of the year, a flagship luxury SUV will round things off. Here’s the full story of what Ford plans to do in the span of 9 months.
Figo Aspire Compact Sedan
The trial production of the Figo Aspire compact sedan has already begun at Ford India’s spanking new facility in Sanand, off Ahmedabad. The car will mark Ford’s foray into the extremely competitive and fast growing, sub-4 meter compact sedan space. The Figo Aspire will feature multiple engine options ranging from 1.2 liter and 1.5 liter Ti-VCT petrols and a 1.5 liter TDCI turbo diesel. Manual and automatic gearbox options will be served up on the petrol motors while the diesel powered Figo Aspire will use a manual transmission. The Figo Aspire will replace the Ford Classic sedan in India. A launch in the next couple of months is anticipated.
2015 Figo Hatchback
Ford will follow up the launch of the Figo Aspire with the 2015 Figo hatchback, which will replace the current version of the car sold here. The 2015 Figo features a new top-hat design, and a host of other changes that are aimed at making it a fresh new entry level Ford car for the brand in India. The 2015 Figo shares its platform and many other parts with the Figo Aspire. In terms of engines, the 1.2 liter Ti-VCT petrol and 1.5 liter TDCI diesel motors are likely to make the cut into the 2015 Figo hatchback. The car is likely to command similar pricing levels as the outgoing model. If Ford India can retain the Driver DNA of the outgoing car, along with increased outputs from the larger engine, the 2015 Figo has all the trappings to be a winner in enthusiast circles.
Mustang Muscle Car
The legendary Mustang muscle car is likely to enter India during the festive season of this year, as a halo model for Ford here. The Mustang will be imported through the CBU route from Dearborn, Michigan, the only location in the world that builds this iconic automobile. While some rumours assert that the 2.3 liter-4 cylinder EcoBoost turbo petrol engine will be what the India-spec Mustang will be powered with, dealer sources are leaning on the 5 liter V8 naturally aspirated petrol motor to be offered on the muscle car, given its brand builder positioning. A Mustang with the 5 liter V8 motor is what enthusiasts are hoping for. For the record, the Mustang with the 5 liter engine sells for around 33,000 USD, which translates to 20 lakh rupees in India. Even with the steep CBU duties, Ford India should be able to price the Mustang 5.0 V8 at around 50 lakh rupees, making it killer bang for the buck. What say, Ford?
Endeavour Luxury SUV
The 2015 Ford Endeavour luxury SUV has hit the testing circuit on Indian roads. The SUV will be launched by the end of this year, replacing the current model that has been around for over a decade. The 2015 Endeavour features a completely new design on the outside, but continues to retain a ladder frame chassis and plenty of features for good performance off the road. The SUV sold in India is likely to be made available with 2.2 liter-4 cylinder and 3.2 liter-5 cylinder turbo diesel engine options. Also, expect a flurry of features and creature comforts on the SUV. In terms of pricing, the 2015 Endeavour is likely to rub shoulders with the Hyundai Santa Fe. A price tag that is about 10-15 % higher than the outgoing model is expected.