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Ford Kuga - sounds familiar. Image by Ford.

Ford Kuga - sounds familiar...
Ford's iosis X concept makes it to production largely intact. It will be called the Kuga.
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| Preview | Frankfurt Motor Show | Ford Kuga compact SUV |

Ford is to launch a production version of the ice-cool iosis X concept which featured at the Paris Motor Show in 2006. We'll have an opportunity to scrutinise this new Ford Kuga at the up coming Frankfurt exhibition.

Though the name sounds similar to the '90s Cougar coupé, the new compact 4x4 has nothing to do with that car and looks remarkably like the Paris concept at first glance.

Based on the Focus C-Max platform - so expect it to have similar proportions to the small MPV - and featuring the 'kinetic design' language pioneered by Martin Smith (Ford's design director in Europe), the Kuga is expected to hit showrooms this side of the Atlantic in spring 2008.

We're pleased the design sketches indicate the production model will bare more than a strong resemblance to the concept - not often the case once the various departments have had their say. Having said that, gone are high-mounted wing mirrors and the unusual door mechanism. Even though we have not yet seen any pictures, it is likely the superb looking concept interior - complete with a four bucket seat layout - of the iosis X will also be binned in favour of a more restrained environment, closer in feel to existing new models in Ford's range.

Our sources tell us that when the car is launched next year, it'll be available with 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines. The 2.5-litre unit that powers the Focus ST to such good effect is likely to feature as well.

Although the Ford Kuga will be a four-wheel drive vehicle (it'll borrow a Volvo four-wheel drive system), expect its road manners to be as impeccable as other recent Fords, which means that, yes it will go off-road, but Ford would probably rather you didn't.

Ford might be on to a winner here, especially if indeed it does go as well as it looks. However, Ford is rather more than fashionably late to the compact 4x4 party; it'll face stiff competition from the current Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V and Nissan X-TRAIL, not to mention the forthcoming VW Tiguan, and SUVs from Peugeot and Renault.

Richard Tanner - 23 Jul 2007

2008 Ford Kuga. Image by Ford.2008 Ford Kuga. Image by Ford.2008 Ford Kuga. Image by Ford.2008 Ford Kuga. Image by Kyle Fortune.2008 Ford Kuga. Image by Kyle Fortune.

2008 Ford Kuga. Image by Kyle Fortune.2008 Ford Kuga. Image by Kyle Fortune.2008 Ford Kuga. Image by Kyle Fortune.2008 Ford Kuga. Image by Kyle Fortune.2008 Ford Kuga. Image by Kyle Fortune.    - Ford road tests
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