Ford Unveils Advanced, Sporty and Efficient New Kuga SUV
with SYNC 3, Expanding Ford’s European SUV Range
Ford Motor Company today revealed the new Kuga, offering customers a more technologically advanced, refined and sportier redesign of one of Europe’s favourite sport utility vehicles.
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 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 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.
Kuga spearheaded the company’s SUV expansion for Europe after first going on sale in 2008. Sales increased to a record 102,000 in 2015 – up by 19 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.”
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
New Kuga offers an enhanced version of Ford’s Active City Stop collision avoidance system, which now operates at speeds of up to 50 km/h (31 mph), increased from 30 km/h (19 mph). Active City Stop uses sensors at the front of the vehicle to look for stationary objects in the road ahead and pre-charges the brakes if the vehicle is approaching an object too quickly. If the driver still does not respond the system reduces engine torque and automatically applies the brakes to reduce the impact of collisions, or avoid them altogether.
The latest generation Ford MyKey technology allows new Kuga owners to programme a key for younger drivers that can inhibit incoming phone calls; restrict top speed; prevent deactivation of driver assistance and safety features; reduce audio system maximum volume, and disable the audio system altogether if occupants are not using safety belts. The enhanced MyKey system offers a greater number of choices in both the speed limiter and speed minder settings.
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 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 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 (54.3 mpg) and 135 g/km CO2.
Ford’s 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine in 120 PS or 150 PS front-wheel drive form achieves 6.2 l/100 km (45.6 mpg) and 143 g/km CO2; and a 182 PS Intelligent All Wheel Drive version delivers from 7.4 l/100 km (38.2 mpg) and 171 g/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 conditions
• 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
“Sophisticated technologies like our Intelligent All Wheel Drive enhance safety and confidence for our customers,” Bakaj said. “Intelligent All Wheel Drive measures how the car’s wheels are gripping the road surface and can make adjustments in less than 20 milliseconds – 20 times quicker than it takes to blink.”
Timing for introduction in SA is yet to be confirmed.