Ford India will launch the automatic version of the global Fiesta sedan on February 28 in Delhi.
Ford had unveiled the Fiesta ‘Powershift’ automatic variant to the media in November 2011. We at CarToq have driven the Fiesta automatic and you can watch the video review of the Fiesta automatic here.
The Fiesta automatic features a six-speed twin-clutch gearbox and a claimed mileage of 16.97 kmpl which is similar to the claimed fuel efficiency of the Fiesta manual variant (17 kmpl).
The introduction of the Ford Fiesta dual-clutch automatic brings buyers more choice among cars with automatic transmissions. In the sub-10 lakh sedan segment, Hyundai Verna, Volkswagen Vento, Honda City and Maruti Suzuki SX4 are offered with automatic transmissions. However, the Ford Fiesta is the only car among its rivals to sport a dual-clutch automatic.
Advantages of Dual-clutch transmission
A dual-clutch automatic transmission is mated to the engine using a combination of two electronic clutches (one within the other) that engage with the engine flywheel in turns. One of the clutches runs the odd gears in the gearbox (gears 1, 3 and 5), while the other turns the shaft which has the even gears (2, 4 and 6).
What this allows for, is much faster shifts between gears, because even before one clutch disengages, the other one engages for the next gear, making shifts even faster than a manual transmission, resulting in minimum power loss.
Therefore, the Fiesta automatic picks up much faster and does not compromise on mileage. On the downside, it’s much more expensive than a traditional automatic (torque convertor) gearbox. Read more about it here.
We expect the Fiesta automatic will likely cost Rs. 80,000 more than the manual variant. At present the Fiesta petrol (manual) is offered in the range of Rs. 8.24 lakh – 9.43 lakh. Ford, will likely offer the automatic variant only in the Fiesta petrol top-end trim. Adding Rs 80,000 to the top-end Titanium + will make the Fiesta automatic price to be around Rs. 10.23 lakh.
The Fiesta sales have gone high recently, thanks to the massive discounts. In January 2012, the sales of Fiesta rose to 1,411 units which is an 81% jump when compared to the sales in December 2011. To keep this momentum, Ford is adding the automatic transmission to the Fiesta.
However, in a diesel driven market, launch of automatic transmission in petrol version may disappoint a few buyers. Nevertheless, urban dwellers who wish to tackle the city traffic with automatic transmission and hence the Fiesta automatic makes sense for them.