Ford has a brand new compact SUV out, marketed as the Escape in America and Kuga in Europe, but otherwise, identical, and naturally, rendering artists have started imagining it in different forms, including a hotter ST variant.
A hypothetical rival to something like the Volkswagen T-Roc R, the rendered Kuga / Escape ST adopts a sportier body kit in both interpretations. XTomi’s is a bit more colorful and gets body-colored plastic cladding, whereas KleberSilva has went for a chrome red look and an almost identical body kit.
Are these renderings in vain or could Ford realistically consider making an ST version of the third-gen SUV? When the original model came out 11 years ago, it would have a tough sale, but now, the SUV boom has given birth to different niches. Performance-orientated crossovers are popping up everywhere. Plus, don’t forget that Ford seems willing to bet big on SUVs.
As for the technical aspect, developing an Escape and Kuga ST should be fairly straightforward. The regular compact SUV is based on the same platform as the new Focus, which is already available in ST guise. It was uncovered earlier this year as a VW Golf GTI and Honda Civic Type R challenger, with a 280 PS (276 hp / 206 kW) and 420 Nm (310 lb-ft) of torque 2.3-liter four-cylinder, turbocharged engine.
The question is, if Ford decides to approve an Escape / Kuga ST, would you consider buying one?