Ford Freestyle unveiled before Auto Expo 2018
Ford India has taken the wraps off its latest offering for the Indian car market, the Freestyle crossover. Based on the current generation Ford Figo, the Freestyle sports a rugged design to boast an SUV-like stance, especially with its more aggressive body work including the black cladding all round, a set of roof rails as also the higher ground clearance apart from bigger wheels shod with fatter tyres.
The bigger highlight than the design though is the engine under the hood of the Freestyle, as it will mark the debut of Ford's new 1.2-litre, three-cylinder Dragon series petrol engine that produces 95PS and 115Nm, the highest yet for a 1.2-litre petrol motor. The engine is an all-aluminium unit and is based on Ford's larger 1.5-litre, four cylinder engine, and will be manufactured at Ford's Sanand plant in Gujarat. The Freestyle will also use a new, 5-speed manual gearbox that promises lighter, more precise shifts. An AMT equipped version of the car is expected to be launched later.
In terms of equipment, lower variants of the Ford Freestyle will come equipped with the same 6.0-inch touchscreen as the refreshed Ford EcoSport, while higher variants will use the bigger, 8.0-inch touchscreen and will integrate Ford's SYNC 3 connectivity to offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity additionally. On the safety front, higher variants will come equipped with six airbags while dual airbags will be standard across the range, along with ABS and ESP.
When launched, the Ford Freestyle will take on the likes of the Hyundai Active i20 and Honda WR-V. Ford clearly sees potential in the growing demand for affordable, compact SUV-like cars for itself and has conceived the Freestyle.
Ford will launch the Freestyle in the second quarter of the calendar year.
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