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Ford Figo Sports Edition review: The comeback of ‘The Josh Machine’?

Ford has introduced a more ‘fun’ variant of its potent little hatch. But does it justify the ‘Sports Edition’ badge?

autos Updated: Apr 24, 2017 11:54 IST
Saumil Shah
Ford has introduced a more ‘fun’ variant of its potent little hatch. But does it justify the ‘Sports Edition’ badge?
Ford has introduced a more ‘fun’ variant of its potent little hatch. But does it justify the ‘Sports Edition’ badge?(Autocar India photo)

In its latest avatar, the Ford Figo strikes a good balance between practicality and performance, especially in its diesel form. However, it never really caught the fancy of driving enthusiasts, as it lacked the fun-factor of previous-generation Fords. To revive interest in the hatchback, Ford has launched a sportier version called the Figo Sports Edition, which comes with a few cosmetic and mechanical tweaks. It is priced at Rs 6.32 lakh for the 1.2-litre petrol and Rs 7.22 lakh for the 1.5-litre diesel.

The Figo S sets itself apart from the regular hatchback with cosmetic enhancements like a new honeycomb grille, smoked-out headlamps, a black roof, and a new spoiler at the rear. The new 15-inch black alloy wheels with meatier 195/55-section tyres complement the car’s sporty character as well.

Black honeycomb grille and alloy wheels, smoked-out headlamps, blacked-out roof add to the sportiness of the Figo S. (Autocar India photo)

Save for the new leather-wrapped steering and red double stitching on the seat fabric, there’s little that’s different inside the Sports Edition. It carries forward the same all-black theme, but now piano black inserts replace the silver bits, and gets all the bells and whistles offered on the Titanium variant of the regular Figo. These include ABS with EBD, dual front airbags, automatic climate control, electrically adjustable and foldable outside mirrors, and reverse wiper and washer. There are no parking sensors though, and there’s no touchscreen or Ford’s Sync infotainment system either. What you do get is a cleverly designed dock to hold your mobile phone.

The cabin gets blacked out too. The silver inserts of the standard edition are replaced by black piano-finish ones. (Autocar India photo)

Ford is offering the Sports Edition with the regular Figo’s 100hp 1.5-litre diesel and the 88hp 1.2-litre petrol engines, both of which come with a five-speed manual gearbox. There is no automatic version on offer.

Quite unsurprisingly, the stronger 1.5-litre diesel powered version is the one to go for, if you want to have some fun behind the wheel. This engine is responsive from the word go and pulls cleanly all the way to 4,000 rpm. The car has gained 14 kilos on account of the bigger wheels, chunkier tyres and roof spoiler. But its lightweight construction gives it an impressive 95 hp/ton power to weight ratio; almost identical to the pricier Polo GT TDI’s, making this one of the fastest mass-market diesel hatchbacks around.

It’s either a 88hp 1.2-litre petrol or a 100hp 1.5 litre diesel mill doing the racing duties. (Autocar India photo)

Enthusiasts will remember the Fiesta S and its razor-sharp handling that was a result of the sedan’s reworked suspension. The Figo Sports Edition too comes with a sportier suspension, which has improved the grip on offer, and has also made the hatch nimbler. Overall, the reworked suspension has made the Figo more exciting from behind the wheel, but it nevertheless remains a hatch that’s easy to drive everyday. The fatter 195mm tyres also help put the power down on the road better than the regular car’s 175mm rubber.

There is some amount of leaning around corners, but Ford engineers say that it was essential to find a suspension setup that balances sportiness and everyday usability. And it must be said, the Figo S has a very comfy ride. It remains flat and composed out on the highway, and absorbs bumps within the city really well.

The rear spoiler after the blacked out roof adds to the aerodynamics of the car. (Autocar India photo)

The brakes are perfect with the pedal offering just the right amount of feel and bite. The clutch, however, is a bit on the heavier side and it does take a bit of getting used to. The five-speed manual gearbox isn’t very smooth either, and feels a bit rubbery.

Figo Sports EditionPetrolDiesel
Engine1,196cc, 4-cylinder/1,498cc, 4-cylinder, turbocharged
Power88hp at 6300rpm 100hp at 3750rpm
Torque112 Nm at 4,000rpm 215 Nm at 1,750-3,000rpm
Gearbox5-speed manual5-speed manual
Price (ex-showroom, Delhi)Rs 6.32 lakhRs 7.22 lakh

For a premium of Rs 50,000 over the regular Figo, you’re getting the same practicality, but in a more fun-to-drive package. With the Figo Sports Edition, Ford gives driving enthusiasts the tool they desire. It finally shows signs of the Ford DNA that seemed to be missing all this while. Even the minor exterior modifications seem to enhance its sporty quotient. Clearly, this is a rare mass market car that carries off its ‘Sports Edition’ suffix with aplomb.

(In arrangement with Autocar India)