The Ford Figo has been named the 2011 Indian Car of the Year.
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Developed by Ford Australia and based on the previous generation Fiesta small car, more than 60,000 Figo models have been sold in India since its introduction to the market in March.

The Figo (pronounced ‘Fee-go’) is also sold in South Africa and Nepal, and in 2011 it will be introduced to 48 additional international markets.

Ford Australia’s Neil McDonald confirmed the Figo was on the local arm’s radar but said it was unlikely Australia would be part of next year’s expansion.

Mr McDonald said the brand was looking at the surging super-light segment with significant interest after the introduction of the sub-$13,000 Suzuki Alto, Proton S16 and more recently the Holden Barina Spark and new Nissan Micra.

Despite this, he admitted that even if Ford decided to bring the Figo to Australia, a 2011 debut could be slightly premature.

“It’s a super little car and we’d love to see it here, but there’s a lot that has to happen before then,” Mr McDonald said.

If the Figo is destined for Australia, a launch in the first half of 2012 seems the most likely scenario at this stage.

In India, the Figo is sold with the choice of a 52kW/102Nm 1.2-litre petrol engine or a 51kW/160Nm 1.4-litre turbo-diesel.

The Figo is one of the best selling cars in that market, and has made up more than 75 percent of Ford India’s sales in 2010.

The Figo beat fellow light and small car competitors to take the award, including runner-up, the Volkswagen Vento (Polo sedan), and other finalists like the Skoda Yeti, Nissan Micra and Volkswagen Polo hatch.

Car of the Year judge, Srinivas Krishnan, said the Figo won because it was evident the vehicle had been designed specifically to meet the needs of the Indian market.

“The Figo’s crisp driving dynamics, two fuel-efficient engine options, cheerful styling and interiors and, of course, its terrific pricing, simply propelled it to the top of the honours list,” Mr Krishnan said.