- New Ford Kuga sport utility vehicle makes European motor show debut with SYNC 3 connectivity, hands-free parking in side-by-side spaces and enhanced Active City Stop
- Technologically advanced Kuga on show in Geneva is one of five all-new or redesigned Ford vehicles that will compete in the SUV and crossover space in the next three years
- Bold and sporty exterior features new trapezoidal grille, new headlights incorporating LED daytime running lights, and new colours Guard Grey and vibrant Copper Pulse
- New 120PS 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine – built at Ford’s high-tech engine plant in Dagenham – expected to deliver improved fuel efficiency; Ford Intelligent All Wheel Drive enhances grip, especially in slippery conditions
- Meticulously crafted interior offers simpler controls, and improved comfort with heated steering wheel; Adaptive Front Lighting System tailors Kuga headlight beam to environment
- Ford also reveals new Ford Kuga Vignale Concept, offering a vision of the future of upscale SUVs
The sophisticated new Kuga will offer technologies and updates to make driving simpler, safer, more enjoyable and more affordable. These include Ford’s new SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system, innovative driver assistance technologies, an ergonomic and comfortable interior and a new 120PS 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine.
The new Kuga also will offer Ford’s Perpendicular Parking technology that helps drivers park hands-free in spaces alongside other cars; an enhanced version of the Active City Stop collision avoidance system; and Ford’s Adaptive Front Lighting System for optimised visibility in low light. Further sophisticated technologies include Hands-Free Liftgate and Ford Intelligent All Wheel Drive.
“New Kuga offers cutting-edge new features and technologies that will help drivers stay connected, comfortable, safe and stylish on the road,” said Joe Bakaj, vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe. “The sophisticated redesign has given Kuga a fresh and modern feel, while SYNC 3 enables drivers to communicate with their vehicle and connected devices in seamless ways that would have seemed impossible just a few years ago.”
Ford is launching the new Kuga and the larger Edge SUV this year, after introducing an updated EcoSport last year. Ford is bolstering its SUV line-up just as it has been predicted by industry sales analyst IHS that sales in the SUV segment are poised to increase to 27 per cent of all vehicle sales in Europe by 2020.
New Kuga and the Edge are among five all-new or redesigned Ford vehicles that will compete in the SUV and crossover space in the next three years.
Kuga spearheaded the company’s SUV expansion for Europe after first going on sale in 2008 and sales are now at the highest level since it was launched with three times as many sold compared with five years ago. Sales increased to a record 32,936 in 2015 – up by 35 per cent compared with 2014*. Ford expects to surpass 200,000 SUV sales in Europe for the first time in 2016 – a growth of more than 30 per cent compared with 2015.
“Ford is delivering a European SUV line-up that offers the stylish design, car-like dynamics, and sophisticated technologies that consumers desire,” Bakaj said. “Demand for SUVs is stronger than ever, and Ford is expanding its range to offer everything from rugged models with true go-anywhere ability to sporty models designed to suit urban lifestyles.”
Also debuting in Geneva is a concept version of a forthcoming Ford Kuga Vignale, offering an insight into the future of Ford luxury SUVs in Europe and featuring unique, upscale design and specification. With the Ford Kuga Vignale, high-specification Kuga Titanium and a sporty Kuga model, Ford will offer its broadest ever Kuga line-up.
The new Ford Kuga will allow drivers to control audio, navigation, and climate functions plus connected smartphones using simple, more conversational voice commands, with Ford’s new SYNC 3 connectivity system. Ford has drawn on more than 22,000 comments, and insights gained from research clinics and surveys to ensure the new version is the most customer-centric system to date.
SYNC 3 delivers faster performance, simplified commands, and supports five additional languages. ** Simply by pushing a button and saying “I need a coffee,” “I need petrol,” and “I need to park,” drivers can locate nearby cafés, petrol stations or car parks, and find train stations, airports, and hotels.
Kuga drivers can operate SYNC 3’s 8-inch touchscreen in the same way that they use their smartphones. A new interface features larger, easier to operate buttons and enables pinch and swipe gestures for the first time.
iPhone users can activate Apple CarPlay, the smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car allowing drivers to make phone calls, access music, send and receive messages, get directions optimised for traffic conditions, and more while they stay focused on the road. Android™ users can activate Android Auto™. Android Auto makes apps and services that drivers already know and love, accessible in safer and seamless ways including Google Search, Google Maps and Google Play. Software can be updated over-the-air via Wi-Fi.
SYNC 3 also delivers SYNC AppLink for customers, enabling voice-activation from the driver’s seat of a range of smartphone apps that for the first time now includes MyBoxMan, HearMeOut, AccuWeather, Cadena Ser and Los 40 Principales. “Whether you are craving your morning cappuccino on your daily commute or covering the cost of a journey by transporting a package, SYNC 3 brings to life innovative new ways of staying connected on the move,” said Christof Kellerwessel, chief engineer, Electronic and Electrical Systems Engineering, Ford of Europe. “Designed to complement modern smartphones, with an intuitive 8-inch touch screen, SYNC 3 understands more natural speech, is faster, and offers an easier-to-read graphical interface.”
Sophisticated technology for simpler parking
The new Ford Kuga will make driving and parking simpler for customers, using sophisticated Ford driver assistance technologies. New Perpendicular Parking functionality enhances the semi-autonomous Active Park Assist technology specified by almost half of Kuga customers last year. Using additional ultrasonic sensors, Perpendicular Parking at the push of a button enables drivers to locate parking spaces alongside other cars as well as parallel to the road, and steers the vehicle into them while the driver controls the accelerator and brake.
Additional sensors enable technologies that also help Kuga drivers as they manoeuvre out of parking spaces:
- Cross Traffic Alert warns drivers reversing out of a parking space of vehicles that may soon be crossing behind them. Operating with radar at a range of up to 40 metres (131 feet), the system issues three warning signals if it detects a vehicle approaching from either side
- Park-Out Assist helps drivers as they exit a parallel parking space. After the driver has chosen either the left or right hand side the system operates the steering while the driver operates the accelerator and brake
The new Kuga features Ford’s latest design language for a bold and sporty look that is shared with the EcoSport compact SUV and all-new Edge large SUV. A large upper trapezoidal grille and a smaller lower grille are flanked by sleek new headlamps incorporating LED Daytime Running Lights and complemented by stylish fog lamps.
Restyled taillights complete the sporty look, while a new range of 17in, 18in and 19in alloy wheel designs also will be available in variety of finishes including Luster Nickel. A new vibrant colour, Copper Pulse, will be offered throughout the range. A power-operated retractable tow bar automatically stores itself out of sight below the rear bumper when not in use, to retain the new Kuga’s sporty looks.
The new Kuga’s meticulously crafted interior has been refined to offer a more ergonomic, stylish and comfortable experience for occupants.
The steering wheel and air-conditioning controls are even more intuitive, and feature fewer and more easily distinguishable buttons and switches, making the controls easier to recognise and navigate. The steering wheel is also offered with heated leather to improve comfort in cold weather, while all automatic new Kuga models will feature paddle-shift controls that enable drivers to manually select gears while keeping their hands on the wheel.
New convenience features make Kuga even more user-friendly; an electronic parking brake is effortless to operate and frees room for improved storage in the centre console, while a door lock indicator will tell drivers at a glance whether the doors are locked.
The New Kuga also offers Hands-Free Liftgate that can be opened or closed using a kicking motion beneath the rear bumper. The technology, which was specified by more than 1-in-3 Kuga customers in Europe last year, helps parents to easily access the boot when returning to their vehicle with shopping, pushchairs or toddlers.
Powerful and fuel-efficient engines
A new 120PS 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine is introduced, offered with front-wheel drive, Ford is targeting a fuel efficiency improvement for the new engine of about 5 per cent to 64.2mpg and 115g/km CO2*** while producing the same power.
Also available will be a 2.0-litre TDCi diesel engine with 150PS in front-wheel drive and Ford Intelligent All Wheel Drive versions that achieve from 60.1mpg and 122g/km CO2; and a 180PS Intelligent All Wheel Drive version that delivers from 54.3mpg and 135g/km CO2.
Ford’s 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine in 120PS or 150PS front-wheel drive form achieves 45.6mpg and 143g/km CO2; and a 182PS Intelligent All Wheel Drive version delivers from 38.2mpg and 171g/km CO2.
Enhanced visibility and safety
The latest Ford technologies and sophisticated body engineering help drivers see more clearly and enhance safety on the road for new Kuga occupants and other road users.
Ford’s Adaptive Front Lighting System is available for the first time on Kuga and monitors ambient light conditions and automatically optimises visibility by adjusting the beam angle of the new bi xenon headlights to one of seven settings depending on the vehicle’s speed, steering angle and distance to an object in front.
The new Kuga’s sculpted bonnet features a wider, uninterrupted central dome that not only serves to complement Kuga’s sporty new looks, but also incorporates a structural design that more closely controls deformability and flexibility of the bonnet, improving pedestrian protection in an accident. The bonnet and rear liftgate also have been re-engineered to help mitigate damage to more expensive-to-replace components following a collision.
New Kuga also offers advanced Ford technologies, including:
- Ford Intelligent All Wheel Drive, which adjusts the amount of torque sent to each wheel, optimising handling and traction especially in slippery condition
- Curve Control, which mitigates against loss of control should a driver enter a bend with too much speed
- Torque Vectoring Control, which enhances the driving experience by applying a small amount of braking to inside wheels to assist traction and stability when cornering
Kuga Vignale Concept: the future of SUVs
The new Ford Kuga Vignale Concept is presented in Palazzo Pearl – a unique mother of pearl-inspired exterior colour – and finished with tarnished dark paint effect for the front and rear skid plates, foglamp surrounds and door appliques, and with gloss black lower grille and foglamp inserts.
The interior features a unique leather treatment for the seats, doors and instrument panel featuring bespoke tuxedo stitching, with leather extending to the boot floor and tailgate. Window pillar interiors and headliner are enriched with Alcantara material that offers a suede-effect; the glovebox and armrest storage console are flock-lined; and the centre console offers a premium Opale dark grey pearl-effect finish.
Almost 80 per cent of the record 32,936 Kugas sold in the UK in 2015 were high-specification Titanium models, indicating high demand for luxury variants in the SUV segment that is predicted by industry sales analyst IHS to increase to account for 27 per cent of all vehicle sales in Europe by 2020, from 20 per cent in 2014.