Maruti Suzuki sells almost 10,000 units of the WagonR every month, whereas Ford manages to sell only 5000 units in the same time. While the WagonR is available with a petrol heart only, the Figo is offered with both petrol and diesel engines. It is not secret that almost 80% of Figo sales come from the diesel model and the 1.4-litre DuraTorq engine is a gem. The Maruti Suzuki WagonR VXi (with ABS and Airbags) is priced at Rs. 5.16 lakhs, while the Ford Figo ZXi is priced at Rs. 5.34 lakhs (prices on-road, Mumbai). For Rs. 18,000/- more, you get a car with much better ride, handling and quality. But why does the WagonR still outsell the Figo?
The reason is simple. The Maruti Suzuki WagonR is powered by a 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder, KB series petrol engine which produces 67 BHP of peak power output at 6200 RPM and 90 Nm of peak torque output at 3500 RPM. This engine is extremely frugal and returns 18.9 km/l. The Ford Figo petrol on the hand is powered by a 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder, DuraTec engine which produces 70 BHP of peak power at 6250 RPM and 102 Nm of peak torque at 4000 RPM. The petrol Figo returns 15.6 km/l (all figures as per ARAI), which is around 15% less than the WagonR. Small car buyers are very conscious about the fuel efficiency of their vehicle and there is only one way Ford can lure them.
The solution lies in the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine. If Ford can plonk in the EcoBoost motor in the Figo, it will have all the right ingredients to displace the WagonR. But then, due to the turbocharged nature of this motor, price of the Figo could reach the sky. Probably not, as Ford has two versions of the EcoBoost engine. The one on the EcoSport uses a turbocharger, while a non-turbocharged unit has also been developed. This 3-cylinder unit produces 101 PS of peak power and around 130 Nm of torque. Ford can further de-tune it for fuel efficiency and still the Figo will be a very quick car.
Ford has said that the EcoBoost engine is very frugal and returns 20 km/l. Without the turbocharger, the mileage might decrease slightly but will still be on par with the WagonR. The EcoBoost engine also has the capability to increase sales of the petrol-powered Figo and thereby increase volumes for the company. Ford India can maintain current prices of the Figo as the EcoBoost engine will be locally produced and the volumes will be higher, giving them good economies of scale. A turbocharged version can be offered as a limited edition offering to please the enthusiasts.
Which one would you pick? The Maruti WagonR with the 1.0-litre KB-Series engine or the Ford Figo with the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine?