Ford created a new trend in Indian automobile market in late 90’s by introducing Ford Ikon- the Josh Machine. Ikon was a grand success for Ford and that car was a trendsetter in its time. Ford has introduced a new stallion from its stable, Freestyle, titled as Indiaâs first CUV . The tag line used for Freestyle is âJosh Hai Dil Meinâ, ring any bells? Looks like ford want this model to be a grand success, a trendsetter just like Ikon did in its time.
So who are Ford mainly targeting at with its brand new CUV. From its marketing and advertising activities it is clear that Ford is targeting at young Indian couples and adventure seeking youngsters who are not college going types but people who just started earning and would like to go weekend getaways to off-roading routes like hill stations, forest roads, thrilling nowhere places etc. Now you are asking, hey is this car capable for Off-roading stuff that too a hatch back with Figo looks. Technical specs and looks clearly shows that itâs a Hulked up Figo!. Inside the hood it is the new Dragon series 1.2 litre TiVCT petrol engine that produces 96 ps and 1.5 litre TDCi diesel engine that churns out 99 ps. This CUV introduced first in segment features like Active Roll over Protection (ARP), Traction Control System (TCS), electronic stability control and hill launch assist, dual airbags and anti-lock brake comes as standard. Ford has taken the safety of its Indian customers seriously which is a good thing. Nowadays Indian customers are safety obsessed and is willing to spend extra money on safety features. Ford has also given 190 mm ride height for an anxious free off riding and this will also help to dodge potholes as well. Freestyle interior specs looks intriguing as well, the CUV will feature Fordâs in-car infotainment system, SYNC 3 with a 6.5-inch touchscreen that allows to control entertainment and connect to smartphone with voice commands. Pricing of Freestyle is done in an aggressive manner, with a starting tag of Rs 509,000 Ford clearly want to bite away a large piece of Pie.
Put in together in my view Ford has gone one step ahead of its competitors like Hyundai I20 Active, Honda W-RV, Volkswagen Polo Cross, Toyota Etios Cross and Tata Nexon. What that gives Freestyle an upper hand is its uncompromising safety features, go-off-roading looks and competitive pricing strategy. Ford has perfectly filled its huge gap between Figo and Ecosport with Freestyle, and I hope this all new CUV from Ford will intensify the competition in its segment which will compel the other automakers to introduce upgrades for its existing models as well as new models.