Rising petrol / diesel prices in India is pushing automakers to offer CNG option
Despite being a tempting buy, Ford Aspire is lagging behind as far as competition in sub-4 metre compact sedan space is concerned. Aspire comes with two punchy engine options, pleasant looks and sporty dynamics.
Although it misses out on an option for automatic gearbox which is a sore point as all its rivals are offered with the option of an automatic. To widen its array of choices, Ford is reportedly planning to re-introduce the option of a CNG powertrain on the subcompact sedan soon.
A spy shot of a test mule with a CNG testing kit attached to it has been shared by automotive enthusiast Arun. The image has been clicked in Chennai near Ford’s manufacturing facility. The picture suggests that there will be no other changes in terms of its cosmetics or features from the regular Aspire. For reference, the American carmaker did earlier offer a CNG variant with Aspire which was discontinued last year when BS6 emission norms kicked in.
The CNG variant is primarily targeted at consumers and cab drivers looking for a fuel efficient ride. Hyundai Aura is the only other sedan in its segment which currently offers a CNG option. It will be available with the same 1.2-litre petrol 3-cylinder Dragon series engine.
In its BS4 guise, this CNG powertrain returned an output similar to its stock petrol engine of 95 bhp and 119 Nm of peak torque. Other than a petrol unit, BS6 Aspire is also available with a 1.5-litre TDCi Diesel unit which kicks out 99 bhp and 215 Nm of peak torque. Both units are available with a 5-speed manual transmission as standard.
Features on offer
Unlike its BS4 version, the BS6 Aspire CNG is expected to be made available in Titanium and Titanium Plus trims since the Ambiente variant has recently been discontinued. Top of the line Aspire Titanium Plus comes with features such as auto headlamps, auto-dimming IRVM, rain-sensing wipers, power windows, climate control, and push-button start/stop. It is also offered with a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system compatible with Ford Pass connected car tech.
In terms of safety, it comes equipped with six airbags, ABS with EBD, rear parking sensors, rear parking camera, Day & Night Rear View Mirror and pretensioners and force limiter seat belts. It is expected to be priced at a premium of Rs 20,000 over its corresponding petrol variant. It is expected to be launched soon probably by the end of this quarter.
With petrol and diesel prices at an all time high in India, car makers are aiming to increase their CNG offerings in the coming months. Maruti, Hyundai and Tata have has plans to introduce CNG options in few of their existing cars in the coming months.