Ford reveals their newest offering
Named the Freestyle, Ford had the global premier of its new hatchback based on the Figo which the company calls a compact utility vehicle. Having started the compact SUV rage with the Ford EcoSport, the compact SUV space has steadily become the fastest growing segment in the country. Now, more than ever, there is an increased focus on SUV-like looking vehicles and the Freestyle is Ford’s answer to that.
The Freestyle uses design elements usually associated with SUVs to give it a bold look, a more commanding stance, larger wheels and plastic cladding all around. In the front a three-dimensional grille and a silver under-body skid plate, well-sculpted bumper elements and fog lamp recesses—all give it a contemporary SUV look.
Anurag Mehrotra, president and managing director, Ford India said, “The global unveil of the Ford Freestyle strengthens Ford’s continued commitment to India to bring products that consumers want and value. With the cool, capable and connected Ford Freestyle, we are adding yet another great product to our diverse portfolio.”
The interiors are similar to that of the Figo and the dash looks upmarket with a 6.5-inch touchscreen taking centrestage and being part of Ford’s latest infotainment and system SYNC 3. This allows users to control their entertainment and connected smart phones with conversational voice commands. Powering the Freestyle will be a 1.2-litre petrol engine, an iteration of the new 1.5-litre Dragon engine seen on the face-lifted EcoSport. The 3-cylinder TiVCT engine is essentially made with the removal of one cylinder from the Dragon engine and puts out 96bhp of max power and 120Nm of torque. The 1.5-litre diesel that powers both the Figo as well as the EcoSport will continue to be available on the Freestyle. The Freestyle will also offer the best in terms of safety with six airbags, traction control, ABS with EBD and active rollover protection. Mehrotra added, “Just like we did with the EcoSport, we see a lot of potential in offering this compact utility vehicle to meet the SUV owning aspirations.” The new compact SUV will be manufactured at Ford’s Gujarat plant and will also be exported. Sales in India will begin from the second quarter of 2018.
Rahul Gautam, VP Marketing, Vinay Raina, ED marketing, sales and service (on the left of the car) and Anurag Mehrotra, president & MD, Ford India at the global preview of the Ford Freestyle