reviewed: NOVELSPORT Ford Ikon 1.6i CLX
Odometer reading: +/-9000km
Engine: unknown, 96kW (standard: 70kW)
0-100km/h: 8-9 seconds
top speed: unknown
I really don't know what to type. I'm speechless. The berry red
Ford Ikon we tested a few months ago was cute, reasonably zippy and
very driveable. The NOVELSPORT Ikon is a completely different
local Ford dealer, Novel, has come up with a more powerful version
of the Ikon, and dubbed it the NOVELSPORT Ikon. Precisely what
they've done to the car's engine, we don't know.
The exterior is no mystery though, this Ikon was fitted with TSW mag
wheels and Yokohama low profile tyres of 195/45/15 proportions,
while the exhaust pipe was definately not standard!
It starts up pretty normal, I reversed out of the parking lot and
pulled into traffic. It drives just like the standard Ikon, it
sounds a little rougher but never becomes intrusive or loud. A few
blocks later the road opened up and I gave her the spurs. Having
floored the accelerator at about 2000rpm in second gear, the exhaust
produced a low grumble and the car started accellerating strongly. A
few seconds later I changed up and eased off again. Something that
has already annoyed me in the Mercedes M-Class seems to riddle some
Ford products as well - the tachometer has no red zone.
wanting to find it by means of the rev limiter, I accellerated away
from the last traffic light out of Stellenbosch on the R44, and
changed up at 6000rpm in first and second gear. In first gear the
car accellerates like the proverbial bullet from a gun, the front
wheels just-just chirping on takeoff. I had to change into second
quickly, as the tachometer needle climbs at an alarmingly fast rate
in first, and only slightly slower in second. Once you're in third,
performance drops a little more, but still pushes you into the seat
nicely. The engine and exhaust note becomes louder with
accelleration, but not in the "Fast and Furious" deafening
way - it's actually quite pleasant and shouldn't become bothersome
I didn't brave any more full throttle after third gear, except
for a full-throttle run in 5th from 90km/h. The exhaust starts
grumbling again, the car slowly starts accellerating and picks up
momentum. Oh, perhaps I should mention that at this point WE WERE
Yes, this little Ikon will accellerate uphill, from 90km/h in fifth
gear with two adults and camera equipment in the car. Simply
Although fifth was probably meant for cruising, you could actually
overtake in it! Drop her into fourth and the car obviously becomes
I had turned around, we headed back to Stellenbosch at a semi-fast
pace (for lack of a decent term). Sticking to 90km/h I tried 4th and
3rd gear, and found that no matter how steep the incline the
NOVELSPORT Ikon will gladly sprint away from traffic at your
The wider wheels and rims do the car good in the handling
department, and braking is also a tad better than the standard Ikon.
The brakes were next to be tested, and although they do the job
pretty well, the lack of ABS did produce a near-lockup. As for the
steering, it somehow felt meatier and tighter than the standard Ikon
- thanks to the wider track and rubber in front. Power steering
helps you to park, so I think this was definately a change for the
Ride quality and comfort are only slightly compromised by the low
profile pneus, with only a few bumps coming through the suspension,
but never becoming uncomfortable or rough.
The car stays true to its line in corners, and although we couldn't
throw it around a track, the cornering we did was controlled and
effortless. There's a bit of initial body roll, but then the car
hugs the corner nicely.
Back in town, I dropped her to 5th gear at 50km/h and
accellerated. Surprisingly, the car doesn't jerk, moan or groan, but
ever-so-slowly starts to pick up speed. Pulling away in second gear
is no problem at all, even with the airconditioning going, and I
would actually advise it. First gear is so short that you'll find
yourself shifting sooner than you'd like, and the slightest movement
of the accellerator prompts the car to lurch forward. So, if you're
rolling along with traffic through the busy Stellenbosch streets,
stick to second and let the motor pull you through. Once you're
going again, drop her to 3rd, then 4th and just tip the throttle to
zip along with ease.
Whatever the clever NOVEL boys have done to this Ikon, it hasn't
compromised the ride, driveability or easy use of the standard Ikon.
The day-to-day city commuting would actually be more enjoyable in
the NOVELSPORT version, as the car is well behaved and pulls firmly
and solidly in ANY gear, from about 1200rpm. One can feel the torque
pick up just under 2000rpm, but you can't feel it drop that much as
the Ikon accellerates too fast!
I owned an Ikon, would I give my Ikon the NOVELSPORT treatment? HELL
YEAH!! I mean, yes, of course.
The ride becomes a little stiffer, but the wheel size and dimension
could probably be altered to your taste. The steering somehow
improves, the roadholding benefits, and the performance skyrockets.
I couldn't comment on longevity or reliability, but throughout the
12km drive the NOVELSPORT Ikon didn't backfire, misfire, stutter or
jerk even once. It drives like a normal Ikon, which leads me to
think that it should probably last just as long, provided you don't
use its full potential ALL the time!
We don't have any performance figures handy, but the little
NOVELSPORT Ikon should be able to embarress a few bigger boys on the
block. Should your standard Ikon not respond to right-foot commands
too keenly, I urge you to give Novel Ford a call. It's most
definately worth it.
Go, Go, Go!!! (Performance)
Steering & Handling
Woh, woh, wohhh!! (no ABS)
Short gear ratio
Stellenbosch.co.za advises: Always
buckle up, be aware and awake before you drive, and adhere to speed