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Santosh Nair Santosh Nair Wednesday 19 April 2017
Ford Figo

Ford has decided to spice up their Figo lineup in India by offering a new range topper called the 'Sports Edition'. It’s essentially a refreshed and mildly tweaked version of the Figo hatchback which has been introduced to regain the buyer’s attention towards this accomplished all-rounder. Feature-wise, it is in line with the Titanium trim, however, the car maker has made a number of cosmetic additions to the exteriors, tweaked the interiors, retuned the suspension, and is offering it with the same 1.2-litre petrol and the 1.5-litre diesel motors.

Ford Figo

We are in Ahmedabad to drive the Figo Sports and see if it lives up to the blue oval’s expectation of delivering the real ‘fun-of-driving’ experience. Here’s our experience.

Ford Figo
Ford Figo

What sets the Figo Sports apart from the regular model is the black headlamp bezel, a bigger roof spoiler and decals with the letter ‘S’ along the bottom of the door panels and rear bumper. There’s also the blacked-out roof (white roof for black car), grille, mirrors (white mirrors for black car) and alloy wheels. Now, while the grille comes in a sportier honeycomb mesh trim, the larger 15-inch alloys get a more attractive multi-spoke design and come shod with fatter 195/55 section tyres. Undoubtedly, these external updates successfully lend the Figo Sport a sporty look.

Ford Figo

The rest of the car remains the same, so you get the same sweptback headlamps which are split apart by the Aston Martin-inspired grille. This is complemented by a balanced profile section thanks to the stubby front end, a thick sloping C-pillar and the crease that runs below the window line. At the rear, a larger spoiler coupled with the design lines featured on the boot lid and bumper keeps things simple but contemporary.

Ford Figo
Ford Figo

The Figo Sports carries on with essentially the same cabin layout, but in this iteration, a glossy black shade replaces the silver trim on bits like the centre console, door pads, instrument cluster and steering. To make the interiors look sportier, a red contrast stitching can be seen highlighting the steering wheel, the gear lever and the seat upholstery. A basic-looking instrument cluster continues to be used, but the protruding centre console which holds the buttons to the infotainment system that are spread out in a unique wing-like pattern, are now finished in glossy black.

Ford Figo

Though the quality of plastic may not look upmarket, they’re definitely sturdy and feel like they’ll withstand the test of time. Other than this, the Figo Sport continues to offer the same familiar dash layout that has lots of space behind the gear shifter to hold your stuff. There are more storage spaces in the front door pockets which are smartly designed to hold your belongings in separate compartments. Now, the softly cushioned front seats have enough contours to offer a comfortable ride with adequate knee and headroom, and even the driving position is spot on with good visibility over the bonnet.

Ford Figo

At the rear, the bench is quite accommodating with good knee-room due to the scooped-out front seatbacks. There’s lots of headroom, thigh support and an appropriately angled backrest here too. However, what you wouldn’t appreciate at the rear is the lack of storage spaces other than the single cupholder and the front seatback pockets. On the boot front, the 257-litre enclosure is good enough for regular needs, like one suitcase and some shopping bags, but you don’t get split rear seats to partially increase the capacity of the boot if the need arises.

Ford Figo

Features available on the Sports Edition Figo include a black honeycomb grille, black-bezel head lamps, larger roof spoiler, black/white roof (colour specific), black/white mirrors (colour specific), graphics with the ‘S’ lettering and new 15-inch black alloys with wider 195 section tyres. There’s also the black trim replacing the silver accents inside the cabin, contrast red stitching on the seats, gear lever and the steering wheel. Other features include an infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity and four speakers along with USB and aux compatibility, height adjustable driver’s seat, fog lamps, rear defogger, ABS with EBD and dual airbags to name a few.

Ford Figo

Ford Figo

The Figo Sports will be available on two of the existing engine options; the 1.2-litre petrol with a five-speed manual and the 1.5-litre diesel with a five-speed manual gearbox. The Sports edition will not be offered on the 1.5-litre petrol automatic. There are no mechanical updates to the motors and we got to drive the diesel version. It rocks the same 1.5-litre punchy engine that makes 99bhp at 3750rpm and 215Nm of torque between 1750rpm and 3000rpm.

Ford Figo

This motor does send some vibes to the pedals but is overall a refined motor to begin with. It sparkles as far as performance is concerned, and once off the mark, there’s a mild surge at 1600rpm after which the motor lugs strongly till about 4000rpm after which it loses steam before hitting the 5000rpm redline. Thanks to the effortless and flexible manner in which the power is laid down on the road, there’s no need to constantly use the gearbox, even when slotted in top gear.

Ford Figo

Speaking of which, gear shifting is overall a smooth affair with a slightly rubbery feel from the lever while slotting. However, we noticed that the clutch pedal has a strong rebound action at the end of the pedal travel. We have already tested this motor earlier, and it is capable of despatching the 0-100kmph run in 10.3sec. Even overtaking is a breeze as this motor pulls cleanly from 20-80kmph in third gear in an impressive 10.53sec.

Ford Figo

The Figo Sports gets a retuned suspension that gets thicker anti-roll bars (front), and shorter springs all over. These are further complemented by the new 15-inch alloys (standard are 14-inch) that now come with 195 section tyres (standard are 175 section tyres). The regular Figo is known to sport a fine balance between a forgiving ride and potent handling for regular use, and this iteration has a slightly firmer ride that can be felt on harsh roads at lower speeds. But it never gets to the extent of making you feel uncomfortable. It continues to dampen even the biggest of potholes pretty well, especially when the speeds rise, and the ground clearance is clearly a boon.

Ford Figo

Furthermore, the handling has improved and it rolls lesser now thanks to the thicker front anti-roll bars. We also noticed that the feedback from the steering has improved over the regular model which gives you more confidence around bends. You will relish the extra grip offered by the wider tyres and the straight-line stability remains a strength with this hatch. Plus, the brakes are reassuring and offer good stopping distances with lots of feedback from the pedal.

Ford Figo
Tech specs
Make Ford
Model Figo
Fuel Diesel
Variant Sports Edition
Engine Capacity 1498cc
Max. Power (bhp@rpm) 99 @ 3750
Max. torque (Nm@rpm) 215 @ 1750-3000
Gears five-speed manual
Length mm 3886
Width mm 1695
Height mm 1525
Wheelbase mm 2491
Fuel Capacity (in litres) 42
Tyre size 195/55 R15
2 airbags Yes
15-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels with 195 section tyres Yes
Glossy black trim in the cabin Yes
Red contrast stitching on seats, gear lever and steering Yes
Black/White roof Yes
Black/White outer rear view mirror Yes
Music system with USB, aux, four speakers Yes
ABS with EBD Yes
Rear defogger Yes
Specifications Ford
Variant Sports Edition GT TDI
Fuel Diesel Diesel
Engine Capacity 1498cc 1498cc
Max. Power (bhp) 99 @ 3750 108 @ 4400
Max. torque (Nm) 215 @ 1750-3000 250 @ 1500
Gears  five-speed manual five-speed manual
Length mm 3886 3971
Width mm 1695 1682
Height mm 1525 1469
Wheelbase mm 2491 2469
Fuel Capacity (in litres) 42 45
Tyre size 195/55 R15 185/60 R15
Ford Figo

Ford has launched the Figo Sports with a price tag that’s higher than the regular Titanium version by around Rs 50,000. For the extra money, you get a sportier looking Figo (inside and out) which also happens to drive considerably better thanks to the revised suspension setup, larger wheels and wider rubber. All this, without losing any of the features and characteristics which originally made it a practical buy in the first place. The icing on the cake would be the strong and flexible diesel motor that offers useable performance throughout the rev-range. We believe that Ford has done a good job to offer a sporty hatchback with a reasonable increment in the price tag. A combo we feel that has the makings of a winner.

Ford Figo
Pictures: Abhishek Nigam

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