Ford Ikon better than Maruti Suzuki Esteem
Ford Motor Co. did not begin to adapt existing models for India, but designed a new car in fact - specifically for local conditions. The car was named Ikon. It was developed jointly by specialists from the German and British branches of the Ford concern. Comprehensive tests were conducted in Germany, Belgium, England and, of course, in India. Debut took place in January 2000. The assembly was established in India at a specially built plant in 1999 for the production of this model in Tamil Nadu, as well as in South Africa (Port Elizabeth). The share of local components - 70%.
The platform was taken from the Fiesta, extending the base by 40 mm (2485 mm), while the rear overhang was increased by 272 mm, but the Ikon greatly outnumbered the ancestor in size (4140x 1635x 1380 mm). When creating the body, they did not forget about the "local color": there is enough space for a turban above the heads of the passengers. So that women would not cling to their saris at the entrance-exit, the doorways were edged with smooth plastic elements. We also thought about the shape of the doors. Indian drivers usually sit, leaning on the steering wheel, so the front doorways are made higher - so that when the driver exits, he does not fill himself with a bump. The list of components and parts created for the Indian conditions is not limited to all this. Take at least an air conditioner of increased power (basic equipment) that was experienced in the deserts of Rajasthan. The interior of the cabin is in many ways similar to the salon model Fiesta.
Ikon has a transverse engine and front-wheel drive. Two power units: petrol 1.6 liter Zetec-Rocam with a capacity of 92 hp (130 N • m) and 1.8 liter naturally aspirated diesel engine with 58 horsepower. Gasoline is created anew - it is single-shaft (for ease of adjustment), with a low degree of compression (for local gasoline). Designed the motor in Germany, and produce in South Africa. The torque curve of the engine and gearbox ratios are selected based on the manner of Indian drivers to get under way with the second and immediately go to the highest. Other components have also been adapted to local operating conditions: increased body torsional rigidity, reinforced suspension, upgraded braking system, improved engine cooling system.
In 2001, 15,870 vehicles were assembled at the Indian plant. Despite the size of the Ikon, thanks to a compact semi-independent rear suspension, a rather large trunk (400 l). The package includes, depending on the version, power steering, audio system with CD, central locking, laminated glass, alloy wheels, etc. Ford India exports this car to the countries of South Africa and Latin America, and individual components to China. Ford was able to create quite a decent and outwardly (Ikon made in the style of New Edge), and on the "mechanical" characteristics, and the price of the car.