Ford has just pushed back the launch date of the Freestyle hatchback-based crossover from 18th April to 26th April, 2018. The slight delay in the launch of the Freestyle may be due to the fact that the facelifted Mahindra XUV500 is launching on the same day, and the first drives of the Tata Nexon AMT are also scheduled for that day.
What this means is, attention is likely to get split between the three vehicles if the launch dates of the XUV and Freestyle coincide. To avoid this, Ford is likely to have pushed back the launch of the Freestyle so that the brand new car from the American automaker gets its full share of the limelight.
Based on the KA platform that it shares with the Figo hatchback and Aspire compact sedan, the Freestyle is a very important vehicle for Ford, and is in fact one of the biggest launches this year. The car is meant to suit Indian conditions to a T, what with its high ground clearance of 190 mm, brand new petrol engine that’s quite peppy and a more butch stance that makes the car look a lot more substantial than the Figo hatchback, with which it shares a lot of parts. The Freestyle is likely to be priced at Rs. 50,000 more than the Figo, variant to variant. This puts the Freestyle’s starting price at the Rs. 6 lakh mark.
The car will use a brand new 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine from the Dragon series. This motor will make class leading outputs of 97 PS and 120 Nm, making it a lot more powerful than the Hyundai i20 Active, it’s chief competitor. This engine will get a new 5-speed manual gearbox.
The diesel engine is the well-regarded 1.5-litre-4 cylinder turbocharged unit with 100 PS and 215 Nm. A 5-speed manual gearbox will be standard on the diesel engine as well. As for new features, the Freestyle will get a touchscreen infotainment unit running Ford’s SYNC3 interface, 6 airbags on the top-end variant, ESP and anti-rollover protection and ABS+EBD as standard across all variants.