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by Tim Beissmann

The Ford Figo concept previews the car maker’s vision for its next-generation global city car, though unlike the original, Ford Australia has played no role in the all-new vehicle’s development.

Unveiled at the 2014 New Delhi Auto Expo in India, Ford says the sub-four-metre Figo concept was designed with the Indian market in mind, but “created with global standards of design, quality and performance”.

Ford Australia led the design and engineering of the current, first-generation Ford Figo, which is produced in Chennai, India and sold in about 40 countries, though brand communications manager Neil McDonald confirmed the local division had no involvement with the new concept.

The design of the Figo concept was led by Ford North America chief designer Ehab Kaoud, who says the concept represents the brand’s vision of a “refined, no-compromise approach to designing a compact car”.

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The Figo concept is effectively a sedan version of the Ford Ka concept – a micro-hatch unveiled in Brazil in November with a similar tilt towards emerging markets.

The two share near-identical front-end styling, featuring the same signature trapezoidal grille with four horizontal chrome slats, elongated headlights, and ribbed bonnet. Unique to the Figo concept is its front bumper and lower intake design, door contours and handle design, side mirrors with indictors, alloy wheel design, and of course its stubby three-box sedan-style boot and tail-light layout.

Ford global product development engineering vice president Kumar Galhotra describes the Figo concept as “the perfect symbol of how we continue to build on the One Ford plan”, though it’s unclear at this stage if the production model will target emerging markets only or developed ones too.

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The original Figo was based on the previous-generation Ford Fiesta, and it’s believed the new Figo/Ka twins are based on the underpinnings of the current Fiesta.

The Ford Ka, which has been confirmed to launch in Europe in 2015, is being studied closely for the Australian market. Ford is yet to officially confirm its production plans for the Figo concept.

While not involved with this project, Ford Australia has been busy designing and engineering the reborn Ford Escort – a compact four-door sedan for the Chinese market – as well as the Ranger-based Everest SUV.




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