The Kuga is the centrepiece of Ford’s strategy to expand in the fast-growing European SUV market and offers a comprehensive array of features and technologies, including:
- Ford’s Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive system, including exclusive Curve Control
- Segment first hands-free tailgate that operates with a gentle kicking motion
- Class-leading fuel efficiency
- Ford SYNC with Emergency Assist.
“European customers have really taken the current Ford Kuga to their hearts,” said Barb Samardzich, vice president, Product Development. “The new Kuga retains that charisma and adds remarkable new technologies, features and capability.”
Ford plans to leverage its global leadership in SUVs to deliver a comprehensive line-up of smarter vehicles to Europe. New Kuga will be followed by the modern and innovative EcoSport, Ford’s entry into the small SUV segment, and the Edge – a larger, more premium crossover that is a success in North America and other markets.
Ford has said it expects to sell more than 1,000,000 SUVs in Europe in the next six years, around 10 per cent of Ford’s total volume by 2016. Since launching the first generation Kuga in 2008, Ford has sold more than 45,000 in the UK.
Production of the new Kuga started this month at Ford’s assembly plant in Valencia, Spain. Just six months after going on sale, the new Kuga’s North American counterpart the Ford Escape, has achieved its best ever sales year.
The smart AWD system continually assesses road conditions, adjusting the torque split to give the driver the best blend of handling and traction.
The primary goal of the AWD system at low speeds is traction; at speeds above 18mph the system is tuned to improve driving feel, handling and response. A unique cluster display shows drivers the torque demand of each wheel at any moment.
Ford Curve Control acts as a safeguard for drivers who have entered a bend with too much speed. The system mitigates against severe understeer by braking and engine torque reduction.
“Curve Control can support drivers if they find themselves in a situation where they are travelling too fast for the road conditions or layout,” said Michael Nentwig, assistant medium car chief programme engineer, Ford of Europe. “The obvious example is on a curved slip road coming off a motorway. If the driver hasn’t reduced speed sufficiently this system can step in and safely slow the vehicle down by around 10mph per second.”
Dynamics and cornering control are improved by the introduction of the enhanced Torque Vectoring Controlsystem developed with the Focus RS.
The stylish all-new Kuga offers more space for luggage than the current car and a luggage compartment that can be accessed more easily. Ford’s hands-free tailgate can be opened or closed simply by a kicking motion beneath the rear bumper; and it also offers 46-litres more space than the current model, while the rear seats fold flat in one movement.
Road and wind noise has been significantly reduced compared with current Kuga to help deliver one of the quietest cabins in the segment. Improvements were delivered using elliptical acoustic mirrors to measure elements that can influence the noise and vibration inside the car.
From the initial design, all-new Kuga was engineered to be as visually appealing up close as it is from a distance, with spaces between panels no wider than 0.5mm. The craftsmanship inside emphasises feel and touch through use of a soft instrument panel and soft door upper roll. Particular attention was paid to deleting exposed fasteners on moving parts like the tailgate, sun visors and glove box. All-new Kuga also features an opening panorama roof.
“We’ve evolved the vehicle to incorporate more space and a faster silhouette, a more precise execution and a higher quality feel,” said Martin Smith, executive design director, Ford of Europe.
The all-new Kuga will deliver class-leading fuel economy through significantly improved fuel efficiency from a powertrain line-up with diesel engine fuel consumption improved by 10 per cent.
A 2.0-litre TDCi Duratorq diesel engine is also available with 138bhp in FWD and AWD versions offering from 53.3mpg and 139g/km CO2; and a 160bhp version that achieves from 47.9mpg and 154g/km CO2.
Ford’s low-emission ECOnetic Technology available across the line-up features Eco Mode, Gear Shift Indicator and Active Grille Shutter that reduces drag and cuts fuel consumption.
The all-new Ford Kuga was awarded a maximum five-star rating by Euro NCAP after achieving an overall protection score of 88 per cent, the highest-ever for a mid-sized SUV.
Euro NCAP also awarded an Advanced reward for Ford SYNC with Emergency Assistance. Upon detecting airbag deployment or activation of the emergency fuel shut-off within the car, Emergency Assistance uses the on-board GPS locator and Bluetooth-paired device to set up an emergency call and provide GPS co-ordinates, in the local language where the car is being driven.
Further driver assistance technologies offered with new Kuga include Active Park Assist, Blind Spot Information System, Active City Stop, Lane Keeping Aid, Lane Departure Warning, Auto High Beam, Driver Alert and Traffic Sign Recognition.
Ford engineers used ultra-high strength steels in the body structure and a specially designed reinforcement around the panoramic roof to ensure rigidity and strength. Roll Stability Control and Trailer Sway Control are also offered.
All-new Kuga is available to order now in the UK, priced from £20,895.