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Ford Figo’s new Aussie accent

Looks familiar: The Indian-built Ford Figo has gained a new snout, courtesy of Australian designers.

India’s Ford Figo gets Australian facelift that goes with the Territory

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Ford logo19 Nov 2012

FORD’S budget hatchback for the developing world, the Indian-made Figo, has gained a distinctively Aussie face in its first facelift, thanks to designers at Ford Australia.

The Fiesta-based runabout has been given a new front fascia with a wing-shaped insert either side of the Blue Oval badge in the upper grille, reminiscent of the design of the latest Australian-made Falcon and Territory.

Finished in chrome on upper-spec variants and in body colour for the entry models, the grille is part of a mid-life nose-and-tail styling refurbishment that also includes some mechanical tweaks and extra features.

The Figo has been a runaway success for Ford India, not only selling in vast numbers in its home market but also exported to 35 countries such as South Africa and Mexico.

Ford has sold 235,000 Figos since it was launched in March 2010.

The design and engineering of the original Figo was led by Ford Australia, using the previous-generation Mk 6 Fiesta as a basis.

27 center imageFrom top: Ford Figo Ford Falcon front end.

The Chennai-built car was directly targeted at emerging markets, with the objective of keeping it both durable and affordable, a critical factor in India where 65 per cent of Figo purchasers are first-time car buyers.

Ford Australia is known to be working on other international projects on behalf of its parent company, following the success of both the Figo and the Ranger ute, the biggest local design and engineering project.

While the Figo facelift is small bikkies compared with Ranger and its upcoming SUV derivative, it provides vital work for Ford Australia’s design and engineering team at Broadmeadows and Geelong.

Ford Australia recently opened a new design centre next to its Broadmeadows factory, indicating Ford’s intent to keep the local research and development arm of the company firing, regardless of what happens with local car manufacturing.

Ford India says the Figo facelift further integrates Ford’s global ‘Kinetic’ design language, introducing 10 new styling elements including the new front fascia, redesigned headlamps, new tail-lamps and 14-inch alloy wheels on the flagship Titanium model.

The headlamps are said to have a larger reflective area to improve night-driving visibility.

Revised engine calibration is claimed to deliver better low-end performance, while the gearshift has been improved.

The Figo is offered with a choice of 52kW 1.2-litre petrol and 50kW 1.4-litre diesel engines, both matched to a five-speed manual transmission.

New ‘double bulb’ weather strips on the doors are designed to cut noise.

Among the new features are radio buttons on the steering-wheel, improved seats with more lumbar support, and headrest adjustment.

In India, the Figo has helped Ford to massively increase its presence, increasing its dealership numbers by 40 per cent in two years.

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