The Ford Aspire CNG has been launched in India today at Rs 6.27 lakh for the base Ambiente and Rs 7.12 lakh (both prices ex-showroom) for the Trend Plus variant. At these prices, the Ambiente CNG variant is Rs 72,414 more expensive, while the Trend Plus is priced at a premium of Rs 52,414, compared to their respective standard petrol variant. Out of the two, only the Trend Plus can be registered as a private car.
The CNG kit will be a dealer-level fitment and is being supplied and installed by Lovato, who will also be responsible for its warranty. Speaking of which, the car comes with a two-year/1 lakh km warranty and the CNG kit has a 1 lakh km warranty as well with a periodic maintenance interval of every 20,000km. Also, with the CNG kit, Ford is claiming a 46 paise/km maintenance cost.
The company has also installed a front stabilizer bar in order to maintain the handling characteristics of the Aspire. Also, the CNG tank is a ‘suspension type cylinder fitment’ to free up boot space for better cargo capacity. In terms of features, the Trend Plus variant gets a rearview camera, remote central locking, automatic AC, power windows and a 7-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation and Bluetooth.
Available with a 1.2-litre petrol engine, the CNG kit is integrated with the engine control unit (ECU) and the specifications in the brochure are the same as the standard petrol car. The petrol engine makes 96PS of power and 120Nm of peak torque. It comes mated to a 5-speed manual transmission.
Apart from the Aspire, there is also the Hyundai Xcent Prime for fleet owners to pick from if they want a CNG-equipped sedan. And while the Xcent Prime is considerably cheaper than the Aspire, it misses out on a lot of features, and the safety kit offered on the Aspire.