Ford has revealed the India-spec 2018 Aspire facelift and has opened bookings for the updated model. Booking amount for the Aspire facelift is set at Rs 11,000 and we expect prices to start from around Rs 5.5 lakh. The current pre-facelift Aspire starts from Rs 5.72 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
The official image of the India-spec Aspire facelift reveals the car’s new front-end. The front bumper, the grille and the headlamps have been tweaked on the facelift. The changes are similar to the South Africa-spec, made-in-India Figo sedan facelift, which was revealed in June 2018. The 2018 Aspire facelift will feature a new set of multi-spoke alloy wheels, similar to the ones that we saw on Brazil-spec Ka sedan. These will be 15-inch units. The pre-facelift Aspire used to come shod with 14-inch alloys in the Titanium and Titanium+ variants while the Aspire Sports used to come with 15-inch units. Ford is yet to officially reveal the rear of the India-spec Aspire facelift, but we expect changes to be limited to the bumper only, as is the case with SA-spec 2018 Figo sedan.
Ford will continue with the beige-black interior colour combination on the updated model, reveals the official interior image. The big change on the inside comes in the form of Ford’s latest SYNC 3 infotainment system, which replaces the older non-touch SYNC AppLink system. The 6.5-inch touchscreen system will support both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, like on the Ford Freestyle. There will be two USB sockets accompanying the 12V socket just ahead of the gear lever now. The 2018 Aspire will also feature engine start/stop button, which is placed next to the air vent on the left-hand side of the steering wheel.
The official image, which is likely to be of the top variant only, gets fabric upholstery. The pre-facelift Aspire is available with leather upholstery in the top-end Titanium+ variant.
Other than the cosmetic and feature updates, the 2018 Aspire is also likely to get a new petrol engine. The 1.2-litre Dragon series petrol engine which powers the Ford Freestyle is expected to feature on the Aspire facelift too. In the Freestyle, the 3-cylinder engine makes 96PS of maximum power, which is 8PS more than what the current 1.2-litre engine on the Aspire makes. At 120Nm, this engine makes 8Nm more.
Presently, the Aspire gets an automatic transmission option as well, but with a 1.5-litre petrol engine. Ford might replace this engine with the 1.5-litre Dragon series petrol engine that powers the EcoSport facelift. The Dragon series engine makes 123PS of maximum power, 11PS more than the existing 1.5-litre petrol engine. With this, we might see the Aspire getting rid of the dual-clutch automatic transmission in favour of a 6-speed torque-converter, which is available in the EcoSport as well.
The 1.5-litre diesel engine that powers the pre-facelift Aspire is expected to be carried forward. It makes 100PS/215Nm and is available with a manual transmission only.
The prices of the Aspire facelift currently start from Rs 5.72 lakh for the base petrol variant and go up to Rs 8.68 lakh for the top-end petrol-automatic. We expect both the entry-level and top-end prices to come down slightly with the updated model. The 2018 Aspire facelift will rival the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Dzire, Honda Amaze, Hyundai Xcent, VW Ameo and Tata Tigor in India.