• Jul 19th 2007 at 3:00AM
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Sometimes, you have to wonder if Ford really favors Europeans over Americans. After all, look at the product portfolios. Sure, we have the Mustang and the trucks, which are great, but Europe wins pretty much everywhere else. The Mondeo tops the Fusion, their Focus is worlds better than the bizarre-looking thing we're about to get, and now they've announced that Europe's receiving a small crossover that's likely to make Escape look ponderous by comparison. Obviously derived from the Iosis X concept, that car is the Ford Kuga, and while the name's not the greatest (sounds like a Bostonian saying "Cougar"), the sketch above shows a very sporty-looking ride that applies the Ford of Europe "kinetic design" philosophy to a 4x4 crossover. Assuming it's similarly-sized, Kuga is to Escape what Mondeo is to Fusion. That means the Europeans win and we lose. Again.

The car will debut in September at the Frankfurt show and go on sale throughout Europe in 2008. Follow the jump for Ford's press release. We've also included a gallery of the 2006 Iosis X concept below.

[Source: Ford]

Ford of Europe's model range will have an all-new addition early in 2008 – The Ford Kuga. A preview model of the production vehicle will be presented to the press and public at the 2007 IAA Frankfurt Motor Show, which opens on September 13.

"With the launch of the Ford Kuga, we will keep the promise that we gave at the Paris Motor Show 2006: to develop a stylish new model based on the stunning Ford iosis X concept car in less than two years," said John Fleming, President and CEO, Ford of Europe.

Ford's European Design team has applied its exciting 'kinetic design' form language to introduce a compact and distinctive new 4x4 crossover to the Ford portfolio.

"We recognised that image-conscious customers for this kind of vehicle want a very individual car in which impressive on-road capability blends seamlessly with substantial off-road ability," said Martin Smith, Executive Design Director for Ford of Europe.

"Kuga will stand out from the crowd by offering the visual excitement of 'kinetic design' and the on-road driving quality that customers of cars like the Ford Focus, the S-MAX and the new Mondeo have come to expect from us," added Smith.

The Ford design team is also releasing its first official styling sketch of the new model.

"Kuga is adventurous and distinctive, and we wanted to highlight this in our first official image," Stefan Lamm, Ford's Chief Designer for Exteriors, commented. "We believe that there is a role for a more athletic and charismatic vehicle that marks a departure from the norm, in the same way that the award-winning Ford S-MAX carved out new territory for an MPV."

The all-new Ford Kuga will go into production early in 2008 at Ford's Saarlouis plant in Germany. It will be launched across Europe from Spring 2008.

"I'm really excited that we are adding the Ford Kuga to our growing product range in Europe," said Fleming. "It represents the continuation of our design-led commitment to add emotion and desirability to our cars and we expect it to bring even more new customers to the blue oval brand as we continue our product-led transformation towards sustained business success."

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Is anyone ever going to ask the obvious question? When is J Mays, the one shot design wonder going to be terminated. If his design and management skills were half as well developed as his ego, Ford North America would be looking alot better than it is
        • 8 Years Ago
        When he runs out of tracing paper...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ford and GM still think that their biggest competition is each other and they design accordingly. Both companies pay very close attention to each other and have for years. There's corporate momentum here that's hard to stop, and it's resulted in a myopic product line-up for a long time, with each company making a car just good enough to compete with each other. Toyota et al "didn't really exist" to GM or Ford until it was much too late.

      Ford of Europe doesn't have the luxury of that kind of complacency. They have to compete with six or seven other manufacturers in a hypercompetitive market where no one has marketshare momentum and cannot take things for granted.
      • 8 Years Ago
      God Bless America ...

      The only people which will buy these cars are Autoblog readers, people from California, and Canada ...

      The rest will complain that their "foreign", or unamerican, that they're too expensive, too bold, too stiff ...

      Get your act together, stop thinking that bigger is better and start purchasing the "small" cars you have today ... surely the automakers will respond to those sales figures and bring on the cooler cars from overseas.

      Even the "foreign" automakers don't see their "cool" models here ...

      The cars sold in America today are representative of the American nation ...

      My 2cents ...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Even if it does look like the 1999 Izuzu VehiCROSS, I still like it. I always liked the the appearance of the VehiCROSS, even though it seemed impractical for my own personal uses, and was pretty much deemed the same for most other people since the vehicle wasn't even a mild success.
      • 8 Years Ago
      No Kuga for YOU! Next!!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Cry all you want, at least Europe isnt cool enough for our Ford Ranger, IT ROX! *throws up*
      • 8 Years Ago
      Let's be fair here. Most of the vehicles Europe has over the US are pretty new and Europe started their turn-around plan way before the US. I think the US will be seeing the fruits of the way forward labor in the next couple years. If you don't see anything good out for the 2009/10 MY, then Ford is going to be in trouble.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The concept is a beautiful car, the sketch, to me, looks like a Tribeca. I think it'd be nice to get this new Kuga stateside, but it doesn't bother me that we probably won't. I'm more interested in how they can use the designs of the Iosis and Iosis X to create a new medium-duty pick-up to replace (or be) the Ranger.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Kuga is really on its way to US...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Very nice looking car. Sweet desing in line with other new models. Allready saw more spy pictures on: http://www.kuga.nl
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ford is going to bring the Kuga over here and rename it the Escape, if no-one has noticed (blueovalnews.com). it will replace the current Escape. Quit whining. They're also going to bring over the S-Max
      • 8 Years Ago
      Maybe Ford really should do some research when naming their cars, as in some European languages kuga literally means plague. The black plague to be exact. Now I don't know if buyers in those countries will avoid it like the plague, that it is named for, but it is not a promising start.
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