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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Ford open to ST version of next generation Kuga

If approved, chances are it could potentially use the 206 kW 2.3 EcoBoost from the Focus ST.

While not due for at least another 12 to 24 months, Ford has reportedly thrown its support behind a performance ST version of the next generation Escape/Kuga as an alternative to the Volkswagen Tiguan R and the incoming Hyundai Tucson N.

Despite not confirming the model outright, the Blue Oval’s Chief Program Engineer for the Escape/Kuga, James Hughes, told carsguide.com.au that while the idea of a performance model is indeed “fantastic”, no guarantee can be made at present.

“We do have an outstanding legacy and a really good foundation with the Focus ST, and we’re always evaluating further derivative opportunities, but as you guys know, I really can’t comment on future products,” Hughes said.

Last month, the Australian online publication alleged that the next generation would also spawn a long wheelbase seven-seat model reportedly called the Kuga Sport or Grand Kuga that will replace the S-Max and Galaxy MPVs in Europe as well as the slow-selling Endura, an Australianised version of the American market Edge, Down Under.

When it does become a reality, the Escape/Kuga will make use of the same C2 platform as the Focus, the incoming Maverick pick-up and the Bronco Sport, but in the case of the ST, according to the publication, potentially derive motivation from the former’s 206 kW 2.3 EcoBoost engine with drive going to all four wheels. As mentioned though, nothing has yet been confirmed.

If it does become a reality however, it would take Ford’s ST branded SUV count to four after the Edge, Explorer and more recently, the Puma.

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