By: Jason Woosey
Ford will be hoping to take the local budget-car brawl to the next level with its all-new Figo later this year.
While the current model is really just a recycled previous-generation Fiesta, the new one builds upon those trusty underpinnings with a totally new body, cabin, engines and features.
Ford South Africa has just confirmed that the new Figo is due to hit our shores in the fourth quarter of this year and has revealed that customers will have a lot more choice than before.
For starters, there will be a choice between five-door hatchback and four-door sedan body styles and Ford has also promised more derivatives and specification levels, as well as the option of an automatic gearbox.
As with the current model, the new range will offer petrol and diesel power, although no local engine details have been announced as yet.
NEW ENGINE OPTIONS
Given that our Figos are sourced from India, the local entry model is likely to be powered by Ford's new 1.2-litre Ti-VCT normally aspirated petrol engine, which is expected to produce around 62kW to match the current 1.4 while sipping less fuel. The Indian-spec diesel version inherits the EcoSport's 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine and should match is outputs of 66kW and 205Nm.
Ford would do well to offer South Africans a more powerful petrol option and given that, as yet, none of the international versions are fitted with Ford's 1-litre EcoBoost turbopetrol, which might prove a bit too expensive in any case, our best bet seems to be the 77kW 1.5-litre normally aspirated motor offered in Brazilian versions, which carry the Ka nameplate incidentally.
As with the engine details, we'll have to wait until closer to launch to hear about the interior specifications and pricing, but Ford SA has mentioned that its Sync connectivity system will be offered.
Given the fresh new style and wider range of derivatives, Ford's new Figo is sure to make an impact at the lower end of the market, provided Ford SA gets the pricing right. The current car has a dated feel but its Fiesta mechanicals make it great to drive and the new one is sure to build upon those credentials.
Does it look like a winner to you?