Ford has unveiled a new SUV, the next generation Ford Escape, at the LA Auto Show.

The new Ford Escape, based on the Vertrek concept revealed earlier in the year, is a preview of the next generation Ford Kuga which goes on sale in the UK in 2012.

Ford says the latest model, which will go on sale in both the US and across Europe, will combine the practicality of a soft-roader with interior and exterior styling of both an all-terrain vehicle and an SUV.

Despite being a 4x4 SUV, the Escape is essentially a 'soft-roader' and comes with rounded front and rear bumpers to eliminate any box-like design.

Under the bonnet, it offers two of Ford's economic engine, the EcoBoost 2.0-litre and the EcoBoost 1.6-litre. Ford has said that these engines will give the Escape very economic figures when it comes to emissions.

The Ford Escape is also home to some of Ford's latest in-car technology. This includes a new four wheel drive system which Ford say uses a more intelligent type to cope with off-road driving. This four wheel drive system provides better traction for the Escape on-road and off-road.

Some other technology includes virtual parallel active park assist and a blind spot information system.

The well known Ford SYNC system is also featured. This system allows you to access the likes of Skype, Bluetooth and other wireless internet features and made its debut on the gadget-packed Ford Focus earlier this year.

Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, global product development said: "We call our all-new Ford Escape the 'Smarter Utility Vehicle' because it offers the strengths that customers today really value - fuel economy, versatility and new technology that makes driving and living with the vehicle easier and more fun - all wrapped in a sleek, more modern design".

Ford Escape SUV factfile

What is it?

It was originally revealed as the Ford Vertrek concept car in Geneva in March 2011. It will be a new Ford Kuga model in the UK.

When is it out?

Official release dates for the UK have not yet been revealed, but it is out in the US and Europe next year.

What other SUV's are out now?

Other SUVs that are out now are the Chevrolet Captiva and the Vauxhall Antara, which will both compete with the Kuga. However, there are also a growing number of crossover cars such as the Nissan Qashqai and the Kia Sportage to put pressure on a packed market segment.