2018 Ford Aspire facelift adorns visual modifications and interior changes, along with a new 1.2-litre petrol engine
Ford India is gearing up to commercially launch the updated Aspire subcompact sedan on October 4, as the month sees a slew of new launches capitalising on the festive season. The facelifted Aspire comes in place to mend the struggling sales of the existing model. Ford had good initial response for the Aspire when it was introduced three years ago and it was the first model in the segment to offer six airbags.
However, despite being a good overall package, it was overshadowed by the runaway success of the Maruti Suzuki Dzire and Honda Amaze. The American auto giant has decided to give up on its sedans in the US to streamline its operations as a SUV and crossover maker, but the same cannot be said for emerging markets like India.
While Ford’s promising alliance with Mahindra is expected to give rise to new products, its immediate future rests on the existing models. The facelifted Aspire will be followed by the similarly updated Figo in the coming months or early next year and both share plenty in common with the Freestyle crossover. In the midst of spy shots, Ford launched the ka+ sedan for foreign markets giving us every bit idea of what’s in store.
The updated design makes the new Aspire perfectly in line with the global styling philosophy used by Ford as the sporty front grille gets chrome surrounds along with reworked fog lamp assembly with chrome treatment. The front bumpers boasts a new look and the alloy wheels are now 15-inchers with new design. The interior gains refreshed dashboard with 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system as seen in the Freestyle.
It will feature Ford’s Sync 3 software with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Other important features are six airbags in the top-end variants, ABS with EBD as standard, automatic climatic control, steering wheel with integrated controls, engine start/stop button, dual USB ports at front, electrically adjustable ORVMs, reversing camera and sensors, etc.
The biggest mechanical change is the inclusion of a new 1.2-litre three-cylinder Dragon petrol engine which is good enough to produce 96 horsepower – connected to a five-speed manual transmission. The long-serving 1.5-litre diesel powertrain will continue to churn out 100 horsepower. No big pricing changes are expected as the new Aspire will likely cost between Rs. 5.9 lakh and Rs. 8.9 lakh (ex-showroom).