The Fiesta is riding high! These exclusive spy shots reveal the Blue Oval is readying a Fiesta-based small crossover that will slot into the Ford range as a smaller sibling to the stylish Focus-based Kuga.
These first shots reveal a jacked-up British-registered, right-hand drive car undergoing tests in an unspecified European location.
And while the majority of the Fiesta’s body panels appear unchanged, the larger wheelarches and raised ground clearance reveal that this is the firm’s new junior off-roader.
The prototype features a disguised front end, which features a rejigged trapezoidal grille. The grille has been moved upwards, which may be a clue that this mule is being used to evaluate the car’s cooling system in its new off-road guise.
The larger steel wheels, raised ground clearance and larger gap between the tops of the tyres and bodywork show just how much higher-riding the new car is. The wheels also protrude past each side of the car, showing the wider track and four-wheel drive system that lurks beneath.
Details are non-existent aside from what can be seen in the photos, but the newcomer will face stiff competition from the likes of the Nissan Juke and MINI Countryman when it makes it to market.
Expect a stylish design which blends the off-road influence of the Kuga with the Fiesta’s acclaimed looks, plus a choice of two- and four-wheel drive variants and EcoBoost engines. Don’t rule out a performance version to take on the Countryman John Cooper Works, and tally with Ford’s Fiesta World Rally Championship programme, either.
The new crossover is set to be part of Ford’s expanding B-segment line-up. We have already scooped Ford’s plans to launch a Fiesta-based B-MAX supermini MPV, which was confirmed by Ford’s executive vice-president for global manufacturing, John Fleming.
He said, “The vehicle that we will launch next year will be a small car. It will be a unique vehicle, not in the portfolio at the moment, and we will build approximately 150,000 annually.”
The B-MAX will be built at the Craiova plant in Romania. And while the market for the supermini MPV would be considerably bigger than an SUV, the firm’s global One Ford strategy would facilitate the addition of a crossover 4x4 too, thanks to increased economies of scale and in-built flexibility in the Fiesta platform. An all-wheel drive model would be popular in the US and the developing BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) markets.