Ford unveiled the stylish and distinctive range of all-new Kuga SUVs, debuting sleek new exterior design with premium proportions that deliver improved roominess and comfort.
The new Ford Kuga is the most electrified Ford ever, and the first to offer mild-, full- and plug-in hybrid powertrains. The comprehensive line-up includes Kuga Plug-In Hybrid, Kuga EcoBlue Hybrid (mild-hybrid) and Kuga Hybrid (full-hybrid) variants, alongside Ford’s 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel, 1.5‑litre EcoBlue diesel and 1.5‑litre EcoBoost petrol engines, and intelligent new eight-speed automatic transmission.
Kuga is Ford’s best-selling SUV in Europe and the No. 3 best-selling Ford vehicle in the region after the Fiesta and Focus. Customers purchased 153,800 Kugas in 2018, contributing to a Ford SUV sales increase of more than more than 19 percent last year.
The all-new Kuga offers even more intuitive comfort and driver assistance features, keeping customers better connected on the move. Sophisticated technologies include a FordPass Connect embedded modem, wireless charging pad technologies, and Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system supported by an 8‑inch central touchscreen. A premium B&O Sound System produces a high quality audio experience, and a new industry-first, free-form, 12.3-inch LCD instrument cluster with “true colour” that is more informative, intuitive and easier to read.
New Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane-Centring technologies help drivers negotiate stop-start and highway traffic with greater confidence than ever before, while predictive curve light and sign-based light help drivers see more clearly in the dark. Head-up display technology helps drivers to keep their eyes on the road ahead, and Active Park Assist 2 enables fully automated parking manoeuvres at the push of a button.
“The all-new Kuga is our best example yet of Ford’s human-centric design approach; developed in close collaboration with SUV customers to deliver distinctive style, unprecedented powertrain choice, premium comfort and advanced technologies that make life easier for owners inside and outside of the car,” said Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe.
Available from launch, the all-new Kuga Plug-In Hybrid delivers the driving range and freedom offered by a traditional combustion engine alongside the efficiency and refinement of an electric powertrain.
The power-split architecture combines a 2.5-litre, four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle petrol engine, electric motor and generator, and 14.4 kWh lithium-ion battery to produce 225PS. Ford’s first plug-in hybrid in Europe to deliver a pure-electric driving range in excess of 31 miles (50 km), the Kuga Plug-In Hybrid is anticipated to deliver from 1.2 l/100km fuel-efficiency and 29 g/km CO2 emissions.
The battery can be charged using a front fender-mounted charging port, and is automatically replenished on the move using regenerative charging technology that captures kinetic energy normally lost during braking. It is anticipated that to fully charge the battery from an external 230-volt electricity supply will take around 4 hours.
Drivers can choose when and how to deploy battery power using EV Auto, EV Now, EV Later and EV Charge modes. When the battery reaches its lowest state-of-charge, the Kuga automatically reverts to EV Auto mode – supplementing petrol engine power with electric motor assistance using recaptured energy for optimised fuel-efficiency.
Comfort, spaciousness and flexibility
Comfort, spaciousness and flexibility are key to the more refined Kuga occupant experience that delivers class leading second row roominess. The all-new Kuga is 44mm wider and 89mm longer than the outgoing model, while the wheelbase has increased by 20mm. Inside, that translates to 43mm more shoulder room and 5mm more hip room in the front seats than the outgoing model, while rear passengers benefit from 20mm more shoulder room and 36mm more hip room. Despite an overall height that is 20mm lower than the outgoing model, all-new Kuga also has 13mm more headroom for front seat occupants and 35mm more in the rear.
For rear seat passengers, heated outer seats are available for the first time, and the entire second row of seats can be moved backwards for best-in-class 1,035mm rear legroom, or forwards to increase boot space by 67-litres. A remote release function enables the second row to be folded flat with ease.
The boot also has a reversible luggage compartment mat with a high quality velour on one side for a premium look and feel, and a durable and robust rubber surface on the other side to prevent wet or muddy sports equipment from soiling the interior.
Spacious, practical and well connected – all-new Kuga interior introduces innovative engineering and advanced comfort and convenience technologies that help the vehicle seamlessly integrate into customers’ lives.
For the first time, Kuga is offered with FordPass Connect embedded modem technology that turns the vehicle into a mobile WiFi hotspot with connectivity for up to 10 devices. In addition to helping drivers plan faster, less stressful journeys with Live Traffic updates for the navigation system and enabling occupants to stream entertainment on the move, FordPass Connect allows a range of convenient features via the FordPass mobile app, including:
- Vehicle Locator, helping owners find their car in sprawling shopping mall car parks
- Vehicle Status, for checking fuel levels, alarm status, oil life and more
- Door Lock Unlock, to remotely allow access to your Kuga
- Remote Start, for Kuga models with eight-speed automatic transmission
- eCall functionality, which automatically dials emergency services in the event of a serious accident, and enables occupants to be directly connected to the emergency services by pushing an SOS button in the overhead console
Also helping drivers stay connected on the move and wave goodbye to a tangle of cables in the centre console, a new wireless charging pad beneath the instrument panel enables occupants to easily charge compatible smartphones. The pad automatically detects compatible devices to initiate charging.
Devices can remain connected via Bluetooth to Ford’s SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system while using wireless charging, which is supported by an 8-inch central touchscreen that can be operated using pinch and swipe gestures. SYNC 3 allows drivers to control audio, navigation and climate functions plus connected smartphones using simple voice commands. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto™ compatibility is included free-of-charge.
A new 12.3-inch LCD instrument cluster is the first in the industry to use free-form technology that allows curved upper edges for seamless interior design. The free-form panel features circuitry embedded across the display, enabling designers to mould it into shapes beyond the traditional rectangular design.
A new B&O Sound System will help occupants get the best from music streamed via FordPass Connect or smartphone devices. The powerful 575-watt, 10-speaker system features an external coupled subwoofer that guarantees smooth bass production, while the position of the tweeters in the dashboard has been optimised to produce a wider sound stage at seating level to for an enveloping listening experience for all occupants. Comprehensive static and dynamic sound tuning ensures that the listening experience is maintained regardless of the driving conditions.
Ford’s hands-free tailgate technology allows access to the boot space even with arms full of groceries, kids or sports equipment, using a simple kicking motion under the rear bumper. Ford engineers have also delivered a solution to the challenge of where to place the cargo shade once removed: it now fits neatly beneath the new flexible load floor, and is easier to remove with a simple pull-strap release.
Enhancing interior refinement, Active Noise Control employs three microphones, strategically placed throughout the cabin, to monitor engine noise in the interior. The system then directs opposing sound waves through the audio system to cancel out unwanted engine and transmission noises. Standard for Kuga Plug-In Hybrid Vignale, Kuga EcoBlue Hybrid and Kuga 2.0-litre EcoBlue Vignale models, the technology contributes to a new level of interior quietness.
The all-new Kuga further enhances the SUV driving experience with an advanced suite of driver assistance technologies designed to give drivers confidence behind the wheel and help them to stay focused while on the move.
Sophisticated Ford Co-Pilot360 technologies enhance protection, driving and parking, and are designed to make the driving experience more comfortable, less demanding and safer.
Making its Ford debut, new Lane-Keeping System with Blind Spot Assist will combine Ford’s Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) and Lane-Keeping System to monitor the driver’s blind spot for vehicles approaching from behind while travelling on multi-lane carriageways. If a driver either signals a lane change or the control system senses a lane change when a vehicle is approaching in the blind spot that could lead to a potential collision, counter-steering is applied to warn the driver and discourage the lane change manoeuvre.
Also further enhanced, Ford’s Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection technology will feature a new Intersection functionality, which can automatically apply the brakes to avoid or mitigate the effects of accidents if the driver is turning across the path of oncoming traffic and the system determines an imminent collision.
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane-Centring helps the vehicle maintain a comfortable driving distance from vehicles ahead. The system also helps reduce stress during long road trips by keeping the vehicle centred in its lane, and can adjust the vehicle speed to within legal limits by monitoring the roadside and overhead gantries for speed signs. This is in addition to using information from the on-board navigation system.
Lane-Centring technology monitors road markings and can apply gentle but discernible torque to the steering system to help drivers stay centred in their lane whenever the ACC system is activated. Designed to support drivers at speeds up to 125mph, the technology will deliver visual and audible warnings if it detects a lack of steering wheel input from the driver.
Kuga is the first Ford SUV in Europe to offer a head-up display (HUD), which helps drivers keep their eyes on the road by projecting useful information into their field of vision. The system maximises effectiveness with one of the largest fields of view of any HUD available in Europe, measuring 6 degrees by 2.5 degrees. The system is also amongst the brightest available, adjustable in 16 increments up to 10,000 candela per metre2.
Special filters for the retractable polycarbonate screen mean that it can be read by users wearing polarised lenses. Depending on vehicle specification, the configurable selection of projected information includes speed – the only content that is always present; Traffic Sign Recognition; ACC; navigation; Shift Indicator; entertainment system; and emergency notifications.
BLIS with Cross Traffic Alert warns drivers reversing out of a parking space of vehicles that may soon be crossing behind them and can apply the brakes to avoid or mitigate the effects of collisions if drivers do not respond to warnings.
Stop & Go enables the ACC system to bring the vehicle to a complete halt in stop-start traffic using up to 50 percent of total braking force, and automatically pull away if the stopping duration is less than 3 seconds. For stopping durations greater than 3 seconds, the driver can push a steering wheel button or gently apply the accelerator pull away.
Active Park Assist 2 makes parking even easier: delivering fully-automated manoeuvres into and out of parallel and perpendicular parking spaces at the push of a button. Enabled by the shift-by-wire capability of Ford’s new eight-speed automatic gearbox, the system identifies suitable parking spaces and the driver can control vehicle motion by simply selecting neutral and holding down a single centre console-mounted button.
The vehicle then fully controls forward and reverse gear selection, throttle and braking, as well as steering – manoeuvring into spaces just 92 centimetres longer than the car and on gradients up to 12 percent at speeds of up to 2.5mph, before engaging park. The technology can also help drivers exit parallel parking spaces using fully automated Park-out Assist.
“We don’t believe in technology for technology’s sake,” Rowley said. “Features like our FordPass Connect on-board modem and new Lane-Keeping System with Blind Spot Assist – combined with our new Ford Hybrid range of powertrains solutions – are designed to reflect the ever-evolving ways that we use our cars, and to help the all-new Kuga slip seamlessly into our customers lives.”
The all-new Kuga is the third generation of Ford’s mid-size SUV for customers in Europe since the nameplate’s introduction in 2008. Ford has sold more than 1 million Kugas in Europe since 2008.