These are the latest spy pictures of a jacked-up version of the Ford Fiesta in development testing.
Judging from the images, Ford is pushing ahead with plans to create further spin-off models from the standard car.
The new model’s increased ride height hints at a mini-SUV - in effect, a smaller brother for the Ford Kuga.But its increased clearance may have been forced by what are clearly wider tracks at the front and rear - and they could point to a mini-MPV crossover.
This is also a more likely option, given that Ford currently lacks a contender in an area of the market where rivals such as Vauxhall (Meriva) and Renault (Modus) have a strong presence.
The new model will take many of its styling cues from the Fiesta, although it’s thought that the Iosis Max concept - unveiled at last year’s Geneva motor show - could provide pointers to a mini-MPV’s eventual roofline.
Engine options are unlikely to include the Fiesta’s base 1.25-litre petrol unit, because of the new car’s heavier payloads. But the 1.4 and 1.6-litre turbodiesels would be suitable, along with a small turbocharged petrol Ecoboost unit.
The car could also feature Ford’s Powershift dual-clutch transmission, which is now being rolled out on US-market Fiestas.
The new car is likely to be built in Romania. Ford has confirmed that it has secured a €400m (£332m) loan from the European Investment Bank to set up production of a new small car at its factory in Caiova.
Capacity at the plant will expand to around 250,000 units per year by the end of 2011.