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Unveiled: Ford Freestyle
Everyone has tried their hands at crossover variant of their hatchbacks. Ford will join the bandwagon soon - two months to be precise - when they launch a cross version of their Figo hatchback. Using the same platform, Ford has given the car some notable changes and dollops of plastic cladding to make sure it looks different enough.
On the front, the car gets a mesh grille with integrated skid plates on the bumper for a rough road look. High contrast headlamps are blacked out for effect.
Ford has not allowed access to the interiors but has revealed that the car gets a 95bhp, 120Nm three-cylinder petrol engine. It's derived from the same new engine that debuted in the face-lifted EcoSport last year. This has been mated to a new 5-speed manual gearbox.
For the 'SUV' look apart from cladding, Ford has raised the suspension for better ground clearance which looks second only to the Fiat Avventura. The track is wider than a regular Figo, though. ABS, EBD and six airbags will be offered on the safety equipment options list.
Ford will name the car Freestyle. No reference to the Figo of course in any communication. The car will feature Active Rollover Protection as in the taller Ford SUVs which, in conjunction with the ESP, can apply brakes on individual wheels and decrease engine torque if it detects potential rollover possibility.
Freestyle will also get Ford's patented Sync 3 multimedia system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen. Will be compatible with both Android and Apple phones.
While no prices or official launch date was announced, company sources hint at a March launch for the car. We expect the car to be priced between Rs 7-8 lakh.
Interested in the Ford Freestyle? Do look at our drive stories of the Hyundai i20 Active, Toyota Etios Cross and Fiat Avventura.