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Spyshot: Ford gets sporty with ‘D-Max’

Here’s a car to delight Blue Oval dealers: the production version of Ford’s SAV crossover concept.

Mainstream car makers have seen sales of their big family hatches ebb away to premium brands or SUVs and funky MPVs. But Ford has come up with a reason to stay loyal.

The finished SAV is scheduled for launch in February, just in time for sales with an ’06 plate.

Prices should kick off at about £20,000 – a tasty premium over the Mondeo or C-Max.

Ford reckons punters will be willing to fork out for the SAV, because it signals the rebirth of the funky Ford. And the package – MPV spaciousness and command seating with estate car practicality and handling, sleek roofline and sporty design cues – can only be matched by Mercedes’ R-class, which will cost twice the price.

“We believe it’s unique: an MPV with a sporty attitude,” says Ford design chief Martin Smith.

Following the lukewarm reception to the new Focus’ looks, the SAV will introduce a bolder style. It combines pumped up body surfaces, a sleek profile with eye-catching details like gaping vents, trapezoidal headlamps and a chamfered rear screen.

While the concept car had only five seats, the finished model is a 5+2 seater. The rear perches fold flat big loads.

Don’t mistake the sleek, Mondeo-sized SAV for the next Galaxy – that will be replaced by another utilitarian vehicle that can transport seven adults. Without any VW components – the joint MPVs deal is history.

The SAV will adopt Ford’s C1+ chassis, bound for the next Mondeo and Galaxy. That’s a stretched version of the Focus platform, which means transverse engines and front/four-wheel drive.

Expect grunty engines: the 136bhp 2.0-litre and 155bhp 2.2-litre common rail diesels, as well as the 143bhp 2.0-litre petrol. Sources say the 220bhp inline five from the Focus ST also fits the engine bay.

ENGINES

Expect to find 136bhp and 155bhp diesels; 143bhp 2.0-litre petrol; and 220bhp turbo for the ST version.

DESIGN

The SAV showcases Ford’s new look, with a sleek and sporty profile, full body panels and eye-catching details.

CHASSIS

Based on C1+ platform, a stretched version of the new Focus chassis, with front and all-wheel drive.

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