11 September 2007

Frankfurt show: Ford Kuga

Focus-based SUV is on its way to the UK next summer

Ford Kuga

Ford has taken over a section of the show floor the size of a cricket pitch - a big cricket pitch - at Frankfurt, and it's the Kuga SUV that's sitting proudly in the middle of it.

Though Ford says this isn't quite the production Kuga that you're looking at - it's being called a 'preview' at this stage - don't expect the real thing to look substantially different.

Loosely based on last year's Iosis X concept and sitting on the same platform as the Focus, the Kuga doesn't break much new ground, but it's a tidy addition to the already packed SUV market with its stubby overhangs and increasingly familiar Ford family face.

Slightly more rugged-looking than the Nissan Qashqai - there's a skid pan underneath, though how functional it is we wouldn't like to guess - it's got plenty of upmarket touches, with an orange-stitched leather interior and a full-length panoramic glass roof.

However, those grey plastic 'arches keep the Kuga looking at least slightly functional, as it should prove at least in four-wheel drive when it arrives in the UK.

You'll also be able to opt for two-wheel-drive only, while the only engine specified at this stage is Ford's tried-and-test 2.0-litre turbodiesel.

Prices should start at around £20,000 when the Kuga goes on sale next summer, but you'll pay more once you've sensibly specced the 19-inch snowflake alloys that you see here.

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