Ford Vertrek concept previews sportier and more stylish compact SUV

Ford Motor Company has unveiled its vision for a sleeker, sportier and more stylish compact sport utility vehicle (SUV ) at the 2011 North American International Auto Show taking place this week inDetroit. The Ford Vertrek concept previews the company’s ambition for a next-generation, global compact SUV that could lead the industry in both design and fuel efficiency.

The Ford Vertrek concept is based on Ford’s global C-segment platform, which includes the all-new Ford Focus range launching during the first quarter in 2011 in North America and Europe, plus the latest C-MAX and Grand C-MAX multi-activity vehicles. It represents the vision of the company’s top design and engineering talent on how best to attract and satisfy future sport utility vehicle customers around the world.

“Vertrek concept is a no-compromise solution we feel utility vehicle customers will embrace around the world,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of Global Product Development. “It is a revolution compared to what is typically seen in this segment in North America and is a stylish evolution compared with products outside North America. This new design is sleeker and more fuel efficient and delivers the capability, including people and cargo volume, customers demand globally.”

The sleek appearance of the Ford Vertrek concept has been honed aerodynamically to help support the program target of class-leading fuel economy and low CO2 emissions.

The compact sport utility vehicle segment is one of the largest (consistently in the top five ), most competitive and fastest growing segments – more than doubling in market share since 2000 – in the US. It is a segment that Ford helped pioneer with the popular Escape model.

Growth in Europe of crossover products, similar to the compact sport utility vehicle segment in the US, has been astounding – up more than 200 percent since 2000. The Ford Kuga has consistently ranked third in its segment, in which all major manufacturers compete, since its launch in 2008. Nearly 70 percent of Kuga customers opt for the high series version.

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