We catch CR-V rival out in the cold getting ready for launch in 2008
19 March 2007

Ford’s much-anticipated Focus-sized 4x4 has been photographed up to its wheelnuts in snow during winter testing. The junior off-roader, the name of which is still unconfirmed by Ford, takes its design cues from last year’s Iosis-X Paris show concept, and is being designed to take on established soft-roader rivals such as the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. The car shares its wheelbase with the five-door Focus and will be the next major unveiling to use Ford’s 'kinetic design' language. Despite this prototype’s heavy cladding, you can see that the Iosis-X’s high-mounted door mirrors have been dropped for more conventional units, and designers have adopted Ford's trademark twin-trapezoidal twin front grilles.Engines will include 1.6-, 1.8- and 2.0-litre petrol units as well as Ford’s excellent 2.0-litre TDCi diesel. This prototype’s twin exhaust pipes also suggest that Ford is planning a range-topping performance version, most likely to use the 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo motor found in the S-Max and Focus ST.Although it will offer full-time four-wheel drive, the Focus 4x4 will be front-wheel-drive in normal conditions, distributing power rearwards via a multi-plate clutch only when there is loss of traction at the front. Ford also wants its 4x4 to have a relatively low ride height and be engineered to offer better on-road ability than off, in the hope that it will appeal to keen drivers.The Focus 4x4 will be on sale early next year, starting at around £18,000.

Jon Quirk

Our Verdict

Ford Focus 2011-2014

Can the Ford Focus capture the hearts and minds of hatchback buyers?

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