The Brazil-spec Freestyle gets the 1.5-litre Dragon petrol engine of the EcoSport facelift paired with the 6-speed automatic transmission
Pictured: Brazil-spec Ford Freestyle
Ford has launched the Figo-based Freestyle cross-hatch in Brazil. It was simultaneously revealed in Brazil and India earlier this year. Both the India- and Brazil-spec models are largely similar when it comes to packaging, but the latter borrows its petrol engine from the EcoSport facelift.
The Ka Freestyle (Figo is known as Ka in Brazil) is powered by Ford’s new 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder Dragon petrol engine that debuted with the EcoSport facelift. This engine was exported to Brazil from India until its local production began there in April 2018. In India, however, Ford has equipped the Freestyle with a 1.2-litre petrol engine to help it qualify as a ‘small car’ and thus attract lower taxes. This 1.2-litre motor also belongs to Ford’s Dragon family of engines.
In Brazil, the Freestyle can be had with a 5-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic. In India, however, we only get the Freestyle with the 5-speed manual. On the other hand, the 6-speed torque converter automatic the Brazil-spec Freestyle gets is the same as that on the India-spec Ford EcoSport, with which 1.5-litre petrol engine as well.
Now, to answer the burning question, yes, Ford could launch the Freestyle, the Figo facelift and the Aspire facelift in India with the 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder engine paired with 6-speed torque-converter automatic. The petrol-automatic powertrain option would then replace the current 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder petrol with 6-speed dual-clutch automatic combo on the Aspire and the Figo. While the automatic EcoSport in India comes with paddle shifters, the Brazil-spec Freestyle automatic gets switches on the gear lever, like the current Figo and Aspire automatic in India.
Another possibility could be the introduction of the EcoSport’s 6-speed automatic transmission with the 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder engine, which is practically identical to the bigger 1.5-litre unit. This way, the Aspire, Figo and Freestyle’s automatic versions would continue to be classified as ‘small cars’ and can be priced competitively. For reference, the prices of the Freestyle start from Rs 5.09 lakh and go up to Rs 7.89 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). The most expensive petrol variant of the Freestyle costs Rs 6.94 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) and if Ford plans to add an automatic transmission to it, we expect the price to go up by around Rs 1 lakh.
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