Udaipur (Rajasthan), July 15 (IANS) American auto major Ford has unveiled its Figo Aspire for the Indian market, describing it as the country’s “most powerful, safe and compact sedan”.
The car, which will hit the market in August, will challenge compact sedans like Honda Amaze, Tata Zest and Hyundai Xcent.
Ford India officials said the car – created specifically for India – will have smart technology, advanced safety features and powerful and efficient engines.
Ford India president Nigel Harris said the car was the first sub-four-metre sedan in India with up to six airbags, including side and curtain airbags.
The Figo Aspire will be made available in three engine options – two petrol and one diesel – with two transmission options to choose from. The petrol range comprises a 1.2-litre and a 1.5-litre unit whereas the diesel models will come powered by a 1.5-litre engine.
The Figo Aspire, the first car to roll out from Ford’s new plant in Gujarat’s Sanand, will give owners fuel economy, the Ford India chief said.
“The new Figo Aspire demonstrates that a compact car doesn’t mean sacrificing quality, design or features,” Harris told a group of journalist, who were here to get firsthand experience behind the car’s wheel.
“While designed primarily for India, this is a global One Ford vehicle that lives up to our worldwide standards, offering more quality and advanced technologies than consumers would ever expect for the money.”
Gary Boes, director, product development, said the car has innovative ‘MyKey’ which allows owners to programme keys with restricted driving modes like increasing seat belt use, limiting vehicle top speeds and regulating audio volume.
He said with MyKey, Figo Aspire owners can set sensible restrictions for drivers with less experience.
“For instance, they can activate a maximum speed limit, or a persistent seatbelt minder that mutes the audio system volume and continues to play a chime until front-seat occupants fasten their seatbelts.”
The Figo Aspire is also equipped with SYNC with AppLink, Ford’s advanced in-car connectivity system, and has a secret side compartment, only accessible when the driver’s door is open. It can be used to store valuables.
SYNC with AppLink allows drivers to control their phone, entertainment and apps hands-free using simple voice commands, said John Lonsdale, B-car segment chief, Ford Asia Pacific.
Harris said: “SYNC lets drivers interact with their mobile devices while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.”
He added that if the vehicle experiences a serious collision, Emergency Assistance uses SYNC and a Bluetooth-paired phone to automatically call emergency responders and provide information about the vehicle and location.
“We are very proud to be the first company to offer standard driver and passenger airbags as well as available side and curtain airbags on a sub-four-metre sedan in India,” said Harris.
“Combined with technology like emergency assistance to help customers get help after a collision, we are finding new ways to innovate in safety and to protect drivers and their families.”
Harris said that by listening to the needs of the customers in India, and drawing on the company’s global product development capabilities, “we have created a car that truly raises the bar in its segment.”
He said over the next nine months his company was planning to introduce two more models – Figo hatchback and Endeavour SUV.
(Debaprio D. Choudhury travelled to Udaipur on an invitation from Ford India. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)