Ford is planning to offer three ‘Allroad’ versions of cars in its range within the next three years, Autocar has learned.
The car maker has so far stayed away from the trend to beef up standard models with SUV-inspired cladding, but the firm’s number two executive in Europe, Barb Samardzich, told Autocar that Ford couldn’t ignore the growing segment.
“You could even include vehicles you might not think about doing it to, like the Fiesta. You put some black cladding in the right spots, roofrack it, and get it looking a lot more active,” she said, without actually naming the models Ford will convert. Neither did she say what name would be given to the crossover-styled cars.
The Mondeo Estate would be a strong possibility for the makeover, given that it already comes with a four-wheel-drive option. The large family car class already includes the new VW Passat Alltrack and it’s likely Skoda will offer an Outdoor version of the new Superb to replace the old model. Also in the VW stable, Audi offers an Allroad version of the A6 Avant and is expected to apply the treatment to the new A4 Avant.
However, the trend hasn’t always taken off; last year Vauxhall stopped selling the Country Tourer version of the Insignia Estate, citing the high cost of converting the car to accept the new ‘whisper’ diesel engine.
Ford is trying to position itself as an SUV specialist as it chases market share lost to the likes of Hyundai, Kia and Nissan. The brand will launch the revised Kuga toward the end of this year, adding a new 1.5-litre diesel engine with the potential to hit 64.2mpg while emitting 115g/km of CO2. It will also launch the large Edge SUV later this year, and is expected to apply its luxurious Vignale trim to the duo.