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Ford Ikon | The Josh Machine of India

2020 was going to be the year when the world was expected to get the flying cars. Yet we all are stuck in our homes as the world got a new virus instead. Well, that was a little pep talk before we get started. There was a time when cars were still a thing of luxury in India. Ford India decided to launch a luxury sub-compact sedan which would personify the ‘Josh’ inside the customers. The Ford Ikon, completely tailored for Indian needs, was launched. Was it able to make an impact on the market? Let’s find out!

1999 – The First Generation Ikon

Ford Ikon, For India
Ford Ikon, For India

Based on the globally sold Ford Fiesta, the company launched a sedan in November 1999 with the nameplate of Ikon. Ford began its operations in India with the Escort, a global model. It was not able to pick up any pace. So the officials at Ford understood that it would be better to launch a tailored car for the Indians instead of launching the global cars here.

How’s The Josh? 

Pretty high. The car was powered by a 1.3-litre SOHC petrol engine which produced nearly 70hp of power and a peak torque of 100Nm. A 5-speed manual transmission was offered with the engine. The car was pretty equipped at that time. It had power steering, power windows, air conditioner, anti-theft alarm, child safety locks, central locking, power door locks, day and night rear-view mirror and much more to the list.

It was also sold in the Chinese market around 2003. To suit the local market, it had a 4-speed automatic transmission equipped. Features like ABS and EBD, CD player, electric mirror, remote central locking and front airbags were also introduced there. To keep the cost aggressive, the company was not giving these features in the Indian spec.

Engine upgrade: More Power!

In 2002, the Ford Ikon was given a 1.6-litre diesel engine option. It was able to produce 90hp of power and a peak torque of 130Nm. This engine was also mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. Someone who might have had the privilege to try this Ikon must have thought that these type of thrills are only available in rally cars.

2008 – Facelift arrives

The market was getting out of the hands of Ford after the initial success of the Ikon. Although the customers were pleased by the sedan, yet it lost the charm as the time passed. There were many rivals in the market that were becoming the chosen ones. Ford decided to give a facelift to the Ikon.

The New Ford Ikon
The New Ford Ikon

The major change was the one under the hood. Duratorq family of engines was introduced in the Ikon. It got a 1.4-litre turbocharged diesel engine which was capable of producing 68hp of power and a peak torque of 160Nm. The engine was mated to a 5-speed manual transmission.

Ford Ikon: Adds josh to your life
Ford Ikon: Adds josh to your life

The facelift also arrived with some design revamps. It became bolder, bigger and better. The new Ikon showcased the kinetic design philosophy of Ford. The major change was the grille-LESS front. Yes! Ford skipped the grille part. The fenders were wider and the bumper was given some meat. The muscular hood was complemented by the new clear quad headlamps that look as if the car is staring at you, boldly. At the rear end, it was given newly designed jewelled semi-transparent rear lamps making sure that the stopping also makes a statement.

Ford Ikon was also equipped with some new features such as CD/MP3 player, redesigned seat covers, rear spoiler, alloy wheels, remote-controlled central locking, a new instrument cluster with LCD odometer display, internally adjustable door mirrors and so on.

Nostalgia Alert! 10 Forgotten Sedan In India | From Cielo To Sienna

The Inevitable Downfall! Ford Ikon Discontinued!

Even with all this, the sandcastle was washed away by the high tides. The facelift arrived late and cars like SX4 were already in a hold of the market. It was too late and there were no chances of revival of the car. So the company decided to pull the plug on the Ford Ikon in 2011. Yet, it can be said that if Ford had made the facelift a bit earlier, the story might have been a bit different. Have you ever had a chance to drive the JOSH? Let us know in the comments section below about your experience.

Also read, Ford Fiesta & Why Ford should bring it back to the market!

Ritvik Gupta
Ritvik Gupta
Ex-Technical Content Developer at GoMechanic | Automobile enthusiast with a knack to decode it for everyone | Automobile Engineer by passion


  1. Hi, I have a Ford Ikon 1.4 duratorq. its in well condition, but want to do some interior/exterior modification along with change in tyres to Tubeless. Please suggest.

  2. I am driving ikon 2009 tdci, and believe me this is a gem of car . Highway I can do easy 140-150 kmph, the torque is awesome, 5th gear has a range of 35kmph-150kmph .
    and the mileage is in between 18-23kmpl.
    It’s been a 10 months and I have clocked 19000 km in it.

  3. I have a 2005 1.3 Flair. It’s truly a josh machine! Got the FC done last November. BTW I need help for a spare part. The left door actuator is not working. It need to replaced or repaired. Can someone help ?

  4. I owned 2002 model 1.8 ZXI model Ford ikon and it was really powerful. More than anything I have a lot of memories with that car, truly a josh machine. I see it for good 10 years.


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