Ford's European division has confirmed a report concerning plans future rugged non-SUV models.
A little over a month ago, we heard Autocar saying Ford’s European division has plans to introduce a series of models that will follow the same philosophy used by Audi on its allroad models. Now, Barb Samardzich, Ford of Europe’s chief operating officer, has confirmed the rumor during an interview with Automotive News Europe. She believes there’s great potential for rugged models that aren’t SUVs, adding that just about every segment could get this treatment, even the Fiesta supermini.
She went on to specify the recipe for these cars will be adding some plastic body cladding and a roof rack which will make the models look “a lot more active.” Chances are these rugged vehicles will also benefit from a jacked up suspension as seen on the VW Golf & Passat Alltrack, Skoda Octavia Scout, and SEAT Leon-Xperience, just to name a few.
Many of you will be surprised to hear that Ford is actually no stranger to this type of vehicle. Back in 2009, the company’s Dutch division came out with a limited-run “X Road” (300 units) for the second-gen Focus Estate, albeit it had the regular suspension settings.
Ford of Europe did not say which of the company’s models will get a more rugged version, but Samardzich mentioned plans to launch five new models in the next three years to compete in the “SUV and crossover space.” Two of these are already known, the recently facelifted Kuga and latest Edge, but the identity of the other three is not known. One can assume a potential candidate is the upcoming Mondeo facelift and further down the line we could see the next-gen Focus getting the same treatment.
Source: Ford via autonews.com