Ford has affixed its ST badge to the rump of a couple of crossovers over the past little while, leading to speculation the Blue Oval brand could build a Kuga ST based on the recently revealed third-generation model. And the first render of this rumoured hot crossover has just hit the web.

Yes, X-Tomi Design has published his take on what a Kuga ST would look like, handing the new model bigger alloy wheels, red brake callipers, a lowered suspension and a few subtle body tweaks.

Of course, like the outgoing model, the new Kuga will be offered in ST-Line guise, adding chunkier side skirts, a model-specific grille, a new front skid plate, a larger rear spoiler, twin tailpipes and various ST-Line bits inside. So much of the styling is already there.

What are the chances of Ford actually putting a Kuga ST into production? Fairly good, if you ask us, considering the Dearborn-based brand already offers the Edge ST and Explorer ST in North America.

Indeed, since the new Kuga runs on a modified version of the latest Focus platform, it likely wouldn’t be too difficult to drop the new Focus ST’s 2,3-litre EcoBoost petrol engine (which offers a healthy 206 kW and 420 N.m in the fresh-faced hot hatch) into the crossover.

Add that model’s new seven-speed automatic transmission to an all-wheel-drive system and you’d have an interesting performance SUV…