After not long ago the rumor mill caught wind of Ford’s European unit desire to add new models to its range that will have the same strategy as Volvo XC70 or Audi’s allroad versions, we have official confirmation.
According to Barb Samardzich, Ford of Europe’s chief operating officer, who was recently interviewed, the rumor is confirmed. The executive says such rugged, off-road enhanced models have the potential to attract buyers of passenger cars that do not want to upgrade to a fully-fledged crossover or sport utility vehicle. She added that practically every segment represented by Ford models could get such versions, even the smallish Fiesta subcompact. She further explained that in order to deliver on the premise the cars would pack added plastic body cladding and a roof rack – a very simple way of making them look “a lot more active.” The models could also be fitted with a beefier suspension system that would bring them in line with models such as the VW Golf & Passat Alltrack, Skoda Octavia Scout, or Seat Leon Xperience, among others.
By the way, if you didn’t know, the Ford brand has been there already – in 2009 the automaker’s Dutch unit has outed a special series of “X Road” (300 units) versions of the second generation facelifted Focus Estate (pictured) – though this one had a completely stock suspension. By the way, these crossover-esque versions might actually be part of Ford’s officially announced plans to deliver five new models in the next three years to the “SUV and crossover space.” We already know two – the refreshed Kuga and the new generation Edge, so there are still three to be revealed.
Via Automotive News