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.

Our Verdict

Ford Focus 2011-2014

Can the Ford Focus capture the hearts and minds of hatchback buyers, or have its traditional rivals managed to perfect the formula?

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Jon Quirk

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Our Verdict

Ford Focus 2011-2014

Can the Ford Focus capture the hearts and minds of hatchback buyers, or have its traditional rivals managed to perfect the formula?

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week