The third-gen Focus has been around since 2010 and even though it was refreshed in 2014, it is showing signs of age. So, it’s good to see a prototype of an all-new model — which will take the fight to the likes of the Volkswagen Golf, and serve as the basis for the next ST — being put through its paces.

Our snapper caught the 2019 Ford testing in the snow and, from what we can gather from the image, it appears the newbie will feature a slightly more raked roofline than the current model, along with a slightly longer wheelbase. That’s not all; it’ll have a smaller rear overhang while the rear doors will be larger and should make ingress and egress a little easier for passengers. It’s hard to make out any other design cues due to the cladding worn by this tester, but you can expect squintier headlights and a bolder grille at the very least.

Both this five-door and the three-door body styles could be 50kg lighter than the current models thanks to the extensive use of lightweight materials — even though it’ll be a tad bigger and pack a larger boot. As for the drivetrain, nothing’s been confirmed yet, but it’ll most likely get Ford’s usual three- and four-cylinder Ecoboost petrol engines. Other markets will also have a TDCi turbodiesel and there could also be a plug-in hybrid and a full EV version.

It’ll be revealed at September’s Frankfurt motor show.