We were just finishing our breakfast when the team leader announced that we should quickly assemble for a briefing for the drive! Yes. We had been invited for a foretaste of Ford’s newest B segment compact sedan, Aspire!
After a brief briefing we come out of our hotel in Udaipur to be greeted by several shining Ford Aspires. The body has a modern look especially with its huge grill (Reminds one of Aston Martin 🙂 and also new Indian Ford Fiesta) and shapely headlights with bits of chrome where needed to accentuate its beauty.
We approach and open the door of the car designated to us. There is a small hum and only on seeing the tacho it is evident that the engine is running. There is no vibration and no noise! Just to make sure I depress the race pedal after we are seated in the plush leather upholstered seats.
We adjust the climate control and very soon the efficient system has cooled us to a comfortable temperature. The start is smooth, and negotiating the narrow streets and heavy traffic of Udaipur, is no problem. Of course driving in India means incessant sounding of the horn and found that the sound was good enough for the purpose!. Negotiating uneven roads and potholes is also comfortable and not bumpy. Full marks to the suspension and shock-absorber system.
Ford’s newest My-Key (key system) can be programmed for many parameters e.g top speed, or disabling the music system if the driver is not buckled up etc. The console between the two front seats are state of the art design and technology including docks for integration with mobile phones and GPS devices. SYNC integration lets you take “Hands-on-the-wheel” phone calls.
Storage takes the cake! There are plenty of them within the cabin, I counted 16!
On reaching the highway to Mount Abu (It is another story that we took some wrong turns 🙂 ), we were able to pick up speed effortlessly and in no time were clocking 140KMPH (obviously My-Key has not been programmed for this test drive 🙂 ).
Tire noise level is very low because of specially designed wheel arch liners. However there was a slight loss of power during uphill and on braking at high speeds forcing me to down-shift. Later, after driving the Diesel variant I realized this was because of the inherent issue of the petrol driven vehicle. The diesel one packed a bit more punch!
At least a couple of times I had to apply brakes suddenly owing to cattle crossing the highway! The advanced Anti-lock braking system with electronic brake force distribution (ABS – EBD) kicks in. Braking is smooth and quickly I slow down to let the Cattle traffic through.
Only the day before, the father of the new Aspire, John Lonsdale (B Car Program and Platform Segment Chief), had passionately encouraged us to drive this vehicle and “feel the difference”.
After driving continuously for around 3-4 hours, to the foothills of Mt. Abu and back, we reached Leela Jetty, we realized John was not wrong, the experience was super and we were still not tired and wanted a bit more!
The pricing will be finalized during the Launch of this vehicle in August 2015. It remains to be seen how they position vis-à-vis their competition in this segment, i.e Dzire, Amaze and Xcent. However bookings are expected to start soon.
Some key features of Ford #FigoAspire top end variant, Titanium Plus are
• MyFord dock to integrate phone, satellite navigation system, and MP3 player
• SYNC® to enable handsfree phone calls
• MyKey – Programmable safety parameters like speed, seatbelt reminder, audio volume etc.
• Power fold OVRMs – Electronically controls mirror movements from inside
• Automatic Climate Control – lets you set the temperature.
• 6 Airbags
• ABS with EBD – for braking safety
• Hill launch assist for uphill starts which prevents rolling back by holding the brake for a few seconds
• ESP – Electronic Stability Program provides control in roughest and toughest conditions
• Rear Parking sensors & many more
Wait! This is not all. A short video is coming soon. Stay tuned. Stay Aspirational. 😀
P.S.- You can see more photos on our Facebook page.
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