Ford Motor Company has unveiled the new Kuga, offering customers a more technologically advanced, refined and sportier redesign of one of Europe’s favourite sport utility vehicles.
Brian Joss – 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 120 PS 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine.
The bold and sporty new Kuga debuts at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. 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 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 percent 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.
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.”
Other features include Active Park Assist; Cross Traffic Alert; a Perpendicular Parking function and the latest generation MyKey system, and more.
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 17- 18- and 19-inch alloy wheel designs also will be available in variety of finishes including Luster Nickel. Two new colours, Guard Grey and the vibrant shade 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 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.
A new 120 PS 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine replaces the outgoing 2.0-litre TDCi. Offered with front-wheel drive, Ford is targeting a fuel efficiency improvement for the new engine of about 5 per cent to 4.4 l/100 km (64.2 mpg) and 115 g/km CO2*** while producing the same power.
Also available will be a 2.0-litre TDCi diesel engine with 150 PS in front-wheel drive and Ford Intelligent All Wheel Drive versions that achieve from 4.7 l/100 km (60.1 mpg) and 122 g/km CO2; and a 180 PS Intelligent All Wheel Drive version that delivers from 5.2 l/100 km and 135 g/km CO2.
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 conditions. Curve Control, which mitigates against loss of control should a driver enter a bend with too much speed andTorque Vectoring Control, which enhances the driving experience by applying a small amount of braking to inside wheels to assist traction and stability when cornering.
The South African launch date will be announced later.