Ford has been spotted testing a range of prototype versions of the upcoming Ford Fiesta-based SUV. And what better place to test the little Fiesta SUV than by taking it to the top of the famous Pikes Peak Hill Climb course.
It looks like Ford is getting close to launching the Ford Fiesta-based SUV as these testing images show, but it won't simply be a jumped up Fiesta sitting on extended suspension. From these images, as well as previous shots of the prototype, Ford has developed all-new suspension geometry for the compact SUV.
There's a wider track with a new, larger tyre and wheel package. This will help to ensure highway stability is maintained now that the centre of gravity has been lifted. On this test car basic steel rims are used but the production version is expected to feature a 16-inch alloy wheel setup using slightly more robust tyres than the standard Fiesta hatchback.
As for the powertrain options, reports say the Ford Fiesta SUV - an official name is yet to be announced - will likely feature a similar engine lineup as the normal Ford Fiesta. A more powerful 1.6-litre EcoBoost turbo engine is also on the cards. If there are front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive options, this more powerful engine is likely to be reserved to support the heavier four-wheel drive version.
The Ford Fiesta SUV is said to be set for international showroom introduction in late-2012. We'll keep you updated with more concrete details when we hear more.
What do you think of it? Would you like a Ford Fiesta-based SUV? This would likely go up against a range of small Japanese SUVs as well as the Volkswagen Tiguan to some degree.