Ford Kuga plug-in hybrid caught on camera

Ford"s new Kuga SUV, set to arrive in showrooms in 2020, will be available as a plug-in hybrid for the first time. New spy shots of the Volkswagen Tiguan rival show the PHEV undergoing development testing in North America. 

Though still sitting pretty as one of the UK"s best selling cars, the current Kuga is five years old this year, and with manufacturers seeing big growth in the SUV segment, Ford is in need of fresh metal. This new Kuga is still a few years away, however, as evidenced by the substantial camouflage hiding the new car"s refreshed design.

It’s likely that the next Kuga will share its platform with the new Focus, which has been desinged with electrification in mind. As well as allowing Ford to develop petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid and electric cars on the same platfrom it also means a slight increase in size is on the cards, as hinted at by the longer rear overhang and extended wheel arches of the prototypes.

Inside, expect the latest Ford interior package. That means a more horizontally actuated design for the dashboard, with a trademark floating tablet style infotainment display perched atop the centre console, as spotted in these latest images.

• Best crossovers and small SUVs on sale 2018

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The styling will be influenced by the new Focus too, feeding off the all-new design language that model ushered in. In these latest images, we can see that the shape of the tailgate and taillights appear to be spun-off from the latest version of the firm"s popular family hatchback.

Ford recently announced plans to significantly invest in electrification, and will spend almost £8bn in a bid to introduce 40 electrified vehicles including full EVs across various markets by 2022. A fully electric compact SUV is high on the firm’s list of priorities too, which will be inspired by the iconic Mustang. 

Read our in-depth review of the current Ford Kuga here.