The Escape/Kuga duo could be the first to get RS treatment.
It has emerged that Ford is open to the idea of creating a high-performance SUV model, developed and badged as a true member of the RS family. The company’s global director of performance, Dave Pericak, has given strong indications that this could happen, while speaking to Car Dealer Magazine recently.
“I think customers love performance,” he said. “I think the definition of what that means for an SUV might be different than what it means for a Focus or for a Fiesta. But I think that we’ve seen, even in the U.S. and globally, that people like aggressive-looking cars, they like sporty, they want the power and pickup, and engine improvement, so I think the answer is yes. SUV customers would appreciate performance, for sure.”
Interestingly, Pericak is not impressed by today’s performance SUVs and says that, if Ford gives the idea a green light, the final product will be a true performance car.
“If you look at the SUV market right now, there aren’t too many credible performance SUVs out there. There are people who have made partial attempts at it and there are different things that have happened, but there are no real credible ones. So, I think that’s an area of some opportunity, for sure.”
According to rumors, the Escape, sold in Europe as the Kuga, is the most likely model to first get the RS treatment, as its underpinnings are capable of a performance upgrade. The sportiest Escape currently is the one equipped with the Sport Appearance Package, but, as the name suggests, it features only visual improvements, such as 19-inch wheels, black window trim, and black side mirror caps. On the Old continent, the Kuga is available as a range-topping ST Line variant, which comes with aerodynamic package, 18- and 19-inch wheels, and ST badges.
Source: Car Dealer Magazine