By: IOL Motoring Staff
Pretoria - Ford has confirmed that the next-generation Figo is coming to South Africa and although the local division is remaining tight-lipped about timing and specifications, it will be showing off the concept version at the inaugural Go Further event in Joburg on July 17.
Essentially this is Ford's brand new global entry-level model and the showroom version will go by the names of Figo or Ka, depending on the market in which it's sold.
Thus the Figo Concept is really just a rebadged version of the Ka Concept, which has already spawned a production model in Brazil (shown in the first photo in the gallery above). Barring the honeycomb grille, headlight innards and lower airdam, this showroom-bound Ka looks near identical to the concept.
As with the current model, South Africa's Figos will be built in Chennai, India. Yet unlike today's Figo - which is really just a facelifted previous-generation Fiesta - the new global Figo/Ka will be a new model in its own right. At least two sedan variants (a normal-sized one and a 'short boot' version for India) will also form part of the line-up.
Ford is aiming to “set new standards for quality and craftsmanship” within its segment and has its sights set on exceeding the expectations of buyers in emerging markets.
Ford SA's Mark Kaufman adds: “We don't want consumers to have to compromise when it comes to choosing modern design, value, safety, and technology in their cars.”
To that end, the Figo Concept has what Ford calls an innovative device dock that offers drivers a new way to store, mount and charge devices such as smart phones, satnav systems and MP3 players by seamlessly integrating them into the in-car infotainment system.
Brazilian Ka models are powered by either a new normally aspirated 1-litre three-cylinder motor, credited with 63kW, or the familiar 82kW 1.5-litre motor that's also found in SA's EcoSport range.
Expect the Indian-built Figo line-up, due for launch in 2015, to include at least one diesel version.