Industry pundits are saying that Ford Europe's 'design study' Visos, due for unveiling at the Frankfurt motor show next month, could herald a spiritual successor to the old Capri sports coupe. It would be built on the next generation Focus platform - along with Volvo's S/V40 replacement - giving access to a vast range of engines.

For its part Ford said in a statement: "There's a feeling inside Ford's inner sanctum that this might just be one of its most significant projects ever."

 "We'll be showing something very significant for us", said European design director Chris Bird. "We asked the team to develop a shape which… gives a clear indication of how we want [our] future design language to evolve."

The Visos is a full four-seat luxury sports car featuring innovative technologies such as fully customisable displays, user-adaptable engine modes and 'mood' settings that can be adapted to suit the preferences of each individual driver.

"This car is intended to demonstrate the blue oval's ability to create strong emotional connections with consumers" said product development head Derrick Kuzak.

"Over the last few years, we have used 'New Edge' design to great effect by bringing a cohesive look to our European car range. With this design study, we want to generate reactions from car buyers to help us shape the next generation Fords of the future."

The name Visos is said to hint at the design team's desire to create something visionary.