Ford India made a bold move last year, when it decided to launch the Fiesta Facelift without a petrol motor in tow. While the Fiesta Facelift in diesel guise finds a handful of takers, most of whom buy the car for the delight it delivers in terms of driving pleasure, adding a petrol engine to the equation could help sales marginally. Which is perhaps why Ford India has begun testing the Fiesta Facelift Petrol.
Apart from a 1.5 liter Ti-VCT petrol motor in tow, the car also gets the 6 speed PowerShift twin clutch automatic gearbox. Notably, this engine-gearbox combination is also found on the EcoSport, Ford India’s current best seller that also shares its B-Car platform with the Fiesta. The 1.5 liter Ti-VCT petrol motor makes 108 Bhp-145 Nm, and is reasonably revvy. The twin clutch automatic gearbox is a quick and responsive gear shifter.
This combination is expected to make the Fiesta Facelift’s petrol variant a rival to the performance leaders of its class – the Volkswagen Vento TSI and the Fiat Linea T-Jet. Existing owners of the Fiesta Facelift sedan will be hoping that Ford puts the petrol automatic variant of the car in production soon. Also, sales of the Fiesta Facelift Diesel could pick up once Ford introduces the petrol powered automatic variant. Here’s why.
Ford only sells a handful of Fiesta sedans here, and many buyers fear for the future of the car. Many potential buyers are afraid of making the leap and bringing the Fiesta Facelift home despite being besotted with the car’s dynamics for two reasons. One – They’re uncertain about whether Ford will take it on the chin and continue producing the car despite lackluster sales. Two – They’re uncertain about the availability of spare parts considering the low volume.
If the Fiesta Petrol Automatic indeed gets launched here, it will reaffirm Ford’s commitment to please the enthusiast brigade, and more crucially, the automaker’s intent on keeping the car in production despite slow sales. This is likely to see more folks sitting on the fence make the leap of faith and hit the buy button. Also, a new class of buyer who demands sporty appeal and convenience could head back to the Ford fold as the Fiesta Petrol Automatic aims to offer both performance and convenience.
Net-net, a sales increase is what the Fiesta Petrol Facelift could deliver for Ford in India. If things don’t go as per plans, Ford will be left with unsold petrol-automatic variants of the Fiesta, a scenario that can be easily avoided by putting the car on a “made-to-order” strategy. Anyway, the automaker already offers this combination in the Ford EcoSport and will soon start offering it on the upcoming Figo Aspire compact sedan too.
Images courtesy Team-BHP