Ford Performance's top exec believes no one has built a true performance SUV yet.
Audi recently made headlines by promising to introduce additional RS-badged SUVs and crossovers in the coming years. Ford's European division -- which launched the RS nameplate on a hot-rodded Escort in the late 1960s -- has just made the same pledge.
"We've seen, even in the U.S. and globally, that people like aggressive-looking cars. They like sporty, they want the power and pick-up and engine improvement, so I think the answer is yes. SUV customers would appreciate performance, for sure," revealed Ford Performance boss David Pericak in an interview with British website Car Dealer Magazine.
Pericak noted slapping a muscular-looking body kit and a sprinkling of RS emblems on an Expedition won't cut it. A high-riding RS model would need to be a true sports car with comprehensive engine and chassis modifications. Ford is open to the idea of expanding its lineup of RS models, but it's being careful not to dilute the nameplate's image. The Blue Oval isn't out to chase volume.
The Ford product most likely to receive the RS treatment is the Escape. The Edge and the EcoSport are potential candidates, too. However, building RS variants of bigger models like the Explorer and the Expedition is out of the question.
Interestingly, Pericak opined that no one has built a true performance SUV yet.
"There are people who have made partial attempts at [building a performance SUV], and there are different things that have happened, but there are no real credible ones. So, I think that's an area of some opportunity," he explained.