Find or Sell any Parts for Your Vehicle in USA

Ford Kuga teaser sketch

Thu, 19 Jul 2007

By Ben Pulman

First Official Pictures

19 July 2007 07:05

Ford has released a sketch of its new mid-sized 4x4, and a name: Kuga

Ford is reviving an old name - but with a new spelling - for its first European 4x4. The Kuga will appear at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, and it's the latest model to feature Ford’s ‘kinetic design’ language. The look has been pioneered by Ford Europe’s executive design director Martin Smith, and it was first seen on the Iosis concept that previewed the current Mondeo.

 The Kuga, which was first shown as the Iosis X at last year's Paris show, has survived to production looking remarkably like the concept at first glance. Out go the suicide doors and high-mounted wing mirrors, but the car looks distinctive. We'll have to see it in the metal to be sure, and no doubt it'll come on smaller wheels. Although we can't see the interior yet, it will be a lot more restrained than the concept's. Gone are the individual bucket seats and centre console running the length of the car. But taking the new Mondeo as an indication, expect a well built and high-quality dashboard.

The Kuga is based on the Ford Group's C1 platform, which underpins the Focus and Volvo S40/V50, meaning this 4x4 will borrow the Swedes' four-wheel drive system. Conversely, Volvo will also produce the XC60 from this platform. CAR Online was told last September by Gunnar Herrmann, Ford of Europe’s vehicle line director, that the Kuga will be available from launch with 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines. The Focus ST will also lend its five-cylinder turbocharged unit to the Kuga, whilst a hybrid is on the cards. Herrmann also claimed the Kuga will rewrite the handling rulebook for the segment (he would, wouldn't he?). It'll need to be good, as Ford is very late to the compact 4x4 party. The Japanese (Toyota, Honda and Nissan) have dominated the sector since the launch of the Toyota Rav4 in the early 1990s. Only now are the European manufacturers catching up. Vauxhall has recently launched the Antara, we've seen official pictures of the VW Tiguan, Peugeot 4007, Citroen's C-Crosser, and we’ll soon have the Renault Koleos.

The Kuga will be built in Germany and Ford hopes to produce 60,000 cars per year. It will be launched in spring 2008 with prices starting around £18,000. CAR Online will be at the Frankfurt show this autumn, where we'll bring you our first verdict on the Kuga the moment the covers are whisked off on 11 September.

By Ben Pulman