In a major development, Ford and Mahindra recently called off their proposed joint venture to develop new cars, platforms and products for India as well as international markets. Ford confirms that its independent operations in India will continue as is. The company is facing tough task ahead to remain relevant in fast growing Indian auto industry. In order to improve sales, Ford Motor Company is now planning to launch 6 new cars and SUVs in the Indian market in the next 2 years –
1. Ford EcoSport facelift
Before introducing the next-gen EcoSport, Ford will give a final update to its top-selling model in the country. The EcoSport facelift is likely to receive significant design changes in the form of new front fascia. The changes will be in-line with the Ford’s new larger SUVs on sale in International markets. It will come with a large radiator grille, a triple LED DRL (Daytime Running Light) setup and sleek headlamp setup. The SUV could get a larger touchscreen infotainment system, revised dashboard and added features.
Powering the SUV is a Mahindra-sourced 1.2-litre mStallion TGDi turbocharged petrol engine, which was unveiled at the 2020 Auto Expo.It is capable of producing an impressive 130PS of power and a peak torque of 230Nm. The EcoSport facelift will continue to offer the tried & tested 1.5-litre turbocharged diesel engine that churns out 99bhp of power and 215Nm of torque.
2. Ford C-SUV
Ford Motor Company will launch an all-new C-SUV, which will be based on the next-gen Mahindra XUV500. The new C-SUV is expected to be launched by the end of 2021 or early 2022. Not just platform, the upcoming Ford C-SUV will share several components from the XUV500. Ford engineers will tweak the chassis and suspension set-up, and it will have Ford-like driving dynamics. It is likely to come with 5-and 7-seat options. The SUV will rival the MG Hector twins, Tata Harrier, Tata Safari, Jeep Compass and others in its category.
The SUV is likely to be offered with 2 engine options – a 2.0L turbocharged petrol and a new 2.2/2.0L turbocharged diesel engine. While the former is capable of producing 190bhp and 330Nm of torque, the oil burner is likely to produce around 180bhp and 400Nm of torque. Both manual and automatic versions will be on offer. Front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive system will be on offer.
3. Ford Focus, Focus ST
Ford is planning to introduce the Focus and Focus ST as CBU or Completely Built Unit. These two models will be brought under the 2,500 units homologation exception rule. The new models are rumoured to be launched by the end of this year. The Focus hatchback is expected to be offered with a 1.0-litre 3-cylinder EcoBoost petrol and 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine options. While the former makes power worth 125PS, the latter is good enough for 160PS.
The Focus ST variant is powered by a 2.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine that is capable of producing 280PS of power and 420Nm of torque. The hot-hatch is capable to do 0 to 100kmph in less than 6 seconds. It is likely to be offered with the automatic transmission only.
4. Ranger Raptor
Ford will also launch the performance-oriented Ranger Raptor pick-up as CBU under the government’s rule of importing 2,500 vehicles without going through homologation process. It is expected to be launched in the second half of 2021. Powering the Ford Ranger Raptor is a 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine that produces 213bhp and 500Nm of torqu. Power is transmitted to all-4 wheels via 4WD system and 10-speed automatic gearbox. It comes with a Terrain Management System with six modes – Rock, Gravel, Grass, Snow, Climbing and Baja. Attributes such as a 283mm high ground clearance, 800mm of water wading depth and large 285mm tyres make it a true off-roader.
5. Next-gen Ford EcoSport
Ford is also working on the next-gen EcoSport compact SUV, which is likely to be launched in 2022. The new model will be based on the modified version of the existing B-platform that also underpins the Figo twins. The global model will grow in size and will measure close to 4.3 meters in length. The current EcoSport for international markets is 4,096mm long; however, the India-spec model sits under 4 meters in length. The new model will be positioned against the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos and others in the category. The SUV will have longer wheelbase, which should help in creating more space inside the cabin.