Ford is releasing the first details of its new Kuga crossover at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show, where the car will be previewed ahead of production early in 2008.

Ford's Kuga Concept makes its world premiere at next week's Frankfurt Motor Show, presenting the company's latest brand of 'kinetic design' in mud-plugging get-up. Dubbed as a 'preview-model', the Kuga Crossover Concept is in all but a few minor trim and specification details the production-model Kuga compact SUV, launching across Europe from early next year.

Based largely on the Iosis X Concept, premiered at last year's Paris Motor Show, the Kuga adopts a more subtle styling approach for production, in line with present models in Ford's 'kinetic' line-up. Promising 'coupe-like sporting qualities', the Crossover demonstrates Ford's new design language of kineticism through dynamic lines and a muscular presence. A poised stance and chunky 19" alloys reinforce the Kuga's combination of style, on-road dynamics and 'substantial off-road ability'.

As a Crossover between wagon and SUV, new practicalities are naturally to be had. Access to the rear is via a split tailgate, ensuring the availability of maximum load width, while the ergonomic design of the central console translates into greater accessible storage and a comfortable cabin environment. Built into the tailgate is a camera, the video of which is displayed on the 7-inch dashboard-mounted display to aid reverse manouvering. A large panoramic glass sunroof will be a production Kuga option, adding to the spacious feel of the cabin, popular on many new crossover vehicles.

Developed to deliver Ford driving quality while offering substantial off-road credentials, the Kuga will be available with a four-wheel-drive system capable of positively contributing to driving quality under normal conditions as well as giving a sportier dynamic ability. Although details of further powertrains destined for the Kuga will not be announced until nearer its 2008 debut, the crossover SUV will feature the established 2.0-litre, 136 PS Duratorq TDCi common-rail diesel engine, mated to a six-speed manual transmission.

"We're very excited about Kuga, and believe that its blend of great looks, compact exterior dimensions, superb on-road driving quality, spacious and high quality interior and good off-road ability will allow it to stand out from the crowd," says John Fleming, President and CEO, Ford of Europe.

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