Ford unveils the made-for-India 'Figo Concept' and the global 'Ka 4-Door Concept'

The automotive market in India is unique in many aspects, one of which is the popularity of compact sedans. Though the idea of slicing the boot of a regular sedan to meet a market-specific regulation would be scoffed at globally, the ever increasing volumes that this still-nascent segment offers is too good to ignore for the global brands. Ford is the latest manufacturer to join the bandwagon, as it unveiled the 'Figo Concept' in New Delhi a couple of days ahead of the 2014 Auto Expo.

We wouldn't be surprised if you find the Figo Concept to be too familiar as it is essentially the compact sedan variant of the Ka Concept that was unveiled in Brazil a few months back. Designed to meet the Indian small car regulations that offers an excise duty reduction for cars less than four meters in length, the Figo Concept underlines the importance of Indian market to Ford. Despite being a staunch follower of 'One Ford' policy of selling the same model with least changes across the globe, Ford has changed its principle to suit an India-specific requirement.

Sporting Ford's latest design elements found on globally-popular models like the new Fiesta and Fusion, the Figo Concept is stylish and muscular. We strongly feel that this concept, if cleared for production with minimal changes, could make the Figo the best-looking compact sedan in a segment dominated by cars with not-so-beautiful boots. The Figo Concept shares its body panels with the Ka Concept until the C-Pillar after which a short and stubby boot takes over. The designers at Ford deserve a pat on their back for the well-integrated boot that doesn't look odd and disproportionate to the rest of the body. As with most new Ford models, the trapezoidal radiator grille and the stretched-out headlights steal the show up front while strong character lines stand out in the profile and rear. The sharp LED taillight clusters designed to go in tandem with those creases in the body and the smart Daytime Running Lamps in the front bumper adds to the appeal.

As and when it is launched in our market, the Figo compact sedan would compete with models such as Maruti-Suzuki Swift Dzire, Honda Amaze, Hyundai Xcent and Tata Zest. It will also replace the Classic sedan that's on sale in India right now.

While India gets the shorter sub-4m version, Ford also unveiled the Ka 4-Door Concept in Brazil for the international markets. The only visual difference was the length of the boot that's not restricted by regulations. Though the Figo Concept is arguably the best-looking compact sedan we have seen so far, we got to say that those few centimeters added to the length makes the Ka 4-door Concept much better proportioned than the Figo Concept. All the three concepts - the Ka hatchback, the Figo compact sedan and the Ka 4-door shares the same global B-car platform developed by Ford for emerging markets like Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa. It is still unclear if the full-size Ka sedan would be launched in India though.

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