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Diesel only launch for Kuga SUV

Ford plans to launch its new Kuga SUV crossover in diesel-only form next May with specification choices restricted to the higher specification Zetec and Titanium packages.

Claiming that the Kuga, to be priced at just over £20,000, is “virtually a brand in its own right” Ford’s medium cars’ brand manager Damian Oton said: “We will not dilute Kuga’s aspirational identity and our volumes will reflect that. We will not schlock it out in big numbers like old Ford did.”

Annual sales for the all-wheel-drive, five-seater crossover are expected to be 6,000 to 8,000 units. Oton said Ford made a “strategic decision to have one body style, one engine (136-horsepower 2-litre TDCi diesel) and only the six-speed manual transmission.”

In late 2008 or early 2009 a high-performance, 2.5-litre, 220hp petrol variant is expected. The initial diesel only approach combines an awareness of a predominantly diesel SUV/crossover market and Ford’s greener lower fuel consumption/CO2 emissions marketing pitch.

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