It has been over eight months since the car was first showcased right before the Auto Expo, Ford India seems to be finally getting ready to get the car prepped up for our market. Fueling this further is this confirmation from Zauba.com which confirms that Ford India has imported a few units of the Ka+ sedan as well as the Ka hatchback from Brazil, where the car has already been launched.
Along with the new Ka hatch (which will be the next-gen Figo here), the Ka+ (which will be called as the Figo+ or simply Figo sedan in India) will be manufactured at Ford’s upcoming manufacturing facility at Sanand in Gujarat. This new factory is expected to be operational by early 2015.
Brazilian Ka twins have got the 1.0L and 1.5L petrol engine options. There is no diesel on offer. The 1.0L motor is a derivative of the 3 cylinder EcoBoost engine we have known and driven on the EcoSport. The other 1.5L petrol motor here is the Ti-VCT which also does duty on the EcoSport.
Another point to note here is that the cost mentioned per unit is Rs 9.18 Lakh for the sedan and Rs 9.15 Lakh for the hatch. Don’t fret none of the cars would, or let us say should, be costing this much!
But the bigger question is why has Ford imported the Ka twins with this 1.5L engine? We do not expect the company to launch either of them with this engine, primarily because of the fact that, this petrol engine will take both the cars out of the ‘Small’ car category and hence snatch away the excise benefits.
Unless Ford has plans to launch this engine as an optional extra (like the EcoSport), we do not see it as the lone option considering that the smaller EcoBoost is already present; it is more modern and much better to drive.
Ford will also need time to modify the Ka twins according to our Indian requirements. The first job would be to slash that extra length of the Ka+ sedan to bring it under that 4 meter mark. Then they will have to test the EcoBoost engine as well as the 1.5L diesel on the cars thoroughly. So, that is a lot of work and we expect them to launch both the cars only by middle of next year.
There is a possibility of the new Figo sedan launching a wee bit earlier than the hatchback considering that Ford would want to latch onto this segment as early as possible. And yes, as we have reported earlier, the current Figo and (Fiesta) Classic will be discontinued as soon as Ford starts production of these new-gen Figos.