Ford Unveils Freestyle Cross-Hatch
Based on the Figo, the cross-hatch introduces a brand new 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder petrol motor from Ford’s newest Dragon family of engines in India
Ford has unveiled the Freestyle, a cross hatch avatar of the Figo hatchback. The Freestyle previews the updated styling of the Figo and Aspire facelift models. It also showcases additional features that Ford is likely to introduce in the updated duo soon. The Ford Freestyle will be launched in the second quarter of 2018.
The Freestyle features the latest iteration of Ford’s grille design that we’ve already seen on the new European Fiesta. Incidentally, the European hatchback too has a cross-hatch version called the Fiesta Active. Besides the Fiesta, the Freestyle has also taken design inspiration from the KA Trail sold in Brazil. That car, however, is based on the pre-facelift Ford Figo. The Freestyle features the all important body cladding and roof rails.
Pictured: Ford Fiesta Active
The all-black dashboard is carried forward from the Figo, but the top section now features a light chocolate brown shade. The centre console of the Freestyle offers a free-standing touchscreen infotainment system like the one seen on the EcoSport facelift. The old school SYNC 1 infotainment system is gone and in comes Ford’s latest SYNC 3 6.5-inch touchscreen unit that also supports Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto.
In terms of safety features, the Freestyle is equipped with six airbags, ABS with EBD, ESC (electronic stability control) and TCS (traction control system). Ford has also added ARP, or active rollover prevention, that can automatically apply the brakes on individual wheels and decrease engine torque if the system detects a possible roll over. The Freestyle rides higher than the Figo and the Aspire and features increased track width and a differently tuned suspension and steering geometry.
While the EcoSport facelift introduced an all-new 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder engine from Ford’s new Dragon family of petrol engine, the Freestyle brings in yet another motor from the same range. The cross-hatch packs a 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine that puts out 96PS of power and 120Nm of peak torque. This makes it the most powerful 1.2-litre, naturally-aspirated petrol engine in the Indian market. Expect the Figo and Aspire facelift to be equipped with this engine as well. The engine is coupled to a new 5-speed manual transmission.
The diesel version of the Freestyle carries forward the same 1.5-litre diesel engine from the Figo and the Aspire. The motor is rated at 100PS and 215Nm, and is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The Freestyle rides on 185/60 R15 tyres and features four twin-spoke alloys with a darker finish.
The Freestyle will have a price advantage over its rivals since most of its rivals – such as the Cross Polo, i20 Active and the Fiat Avventura – are based on hatchbacks that sit a segment above the Figo. Its direct rival, however, would be the Etios Cross. But the Toyota is nearing the end of its life cycle and lags behind in terms of features and the all essential wow factor.
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