beijing, China — Dubbed by Ford as the ‘Smarter Utility Vehicle’ for its fuel economy, versatility and new technology that makes driving easier and more fun, the all-new Kuga makes its debut in Asia at 2012 Auto China in a refreshing Ginger Ale colour. Wrapped in a sleek and modern design, the SUV offers the strengths that customers today really value.
An innovative technology that sets Kuga apart from its competitors is the introduction of a hands-free automatic tailgate which can be opened and closed simply by sweeping a foot under the rear bumper.
To be produced in Chongqing and sold locally in China, the all-new Kuga is the latest in a series of 15 global vehicles that Ford has promised to introduce to China by mid-decade. It will be one of 10 vehicles to be built on the same global C-segment platform as the all-new Ford Focus.
A best-seller in Europe and in the U.S., where it is badged as the Escape, the Kuga is now making its way to Asia, a resounding proof point of the global One Ford strategy that maximises single-platform commonality and leverages global economies of scale.
“We’re able to bring this popular compact SUV to China – and to assemble it here – because of the One Ford strategy which allows for resources and expertise to be shared across regions,” said Dave Schoch, chairman and CEO, Ford Motor China.
“The all-new Ford Kuga opens a new chapter in the world of SUVs, especially in China where its blend of capability, technology and fuel efficiency will ring true for the customers.”
Technology that makes life better
The all-new Kuga offers an exciting array of smart technologies that not only adds to its versatility but also helps make life easier for the driver. Key features include:
Hands-free automatic tailgate: Using the same motion technology found in today’s video game systems, a gentle kicking motion under the centre of the rear bumper activates, unlocks and raises the tailgate when the driver has the Kuga key fob. This allows quick and easy access to the cargo area without needing to set down packages or dig out keys. The same process closes the hatch.
SYNC® with MyFord Touch®: The advanced interface combines the connectivity of SYNC with a full-colour 8-inch touch screen in the centre stack and two 4.2-inch LCD screens. The driver can easily access vehicle functions, settings and information easily through voice, the steering wheel controls or with a simple tap of the centre stack touch screen.
- Active Park Assist: Parallel parking the Kuga is virtually stress-free with the system detecting an available parking space and automatically steering the vehicle into the space – with the press of a button. Drivers control only the accelerator and brake pedals.
- Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®): This sensor-based system displays an alert in the side mirror when a vehicle is detected entering a blind spot. Cross-traffic alert gives a warning if traffic is detected approaching from the sides, such as when Kuga is reversing out of a parking space.
- Lane Keeping Aid: Using a forward facing camera to detect if the Kuga unintentionally drifts out of its lane, the feature uses the steering system to actively steer the SUV very smoothly and precisely back into the lane. It has been programmed to recognise manoeuvres such as overtaking.
- Active City Stop: Using an optical radar system, this feature applies the brakes when it recognises that a low-speed collision is imminent. It can prevent collisions at speeds up to 15 km/h and reduce the severity of impacts at speeds between 15 km/h and 30 km/h.
- Adaptive Cruise Control: This radar-based cruise control system helps maintain a comfortable distance to other vehicles. If the system detects that the vehicle in front is slowing down or is too close, it decelerates automatically to maintain the pre-set distance. Once the road is clear again, it will then accelerate back to the chosen cruising speed.
Bundled with this feature are the Adjustable Speed Limiter Device that keep drivers from exceeding specific speed limits; the Forward Collision Warning system that offers audible and visual warnings in driving situations which may lead to a collision with a vehicle ahead; and the Collision Mitigation by Brakingfunction that automatically supplies additional brake pressure if a potential collision is detected.
Spirited performance with outstanding fuel economy
The all-new Ford Kuga delivers strong fuel economy from two different EcoBoost™ engine choices – a 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine and a 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine
Both new engines combine EcoBoost’s core technologies of direct fuel injection and turbocharging and add twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) to deliver even better fuel efficiency and save customers money.
The 2.0-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder is projected to deliver 176 kW of power and 340 Nm of torque – more torque than the V6 engines in some competitors. The 1.6-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder is projected to deliver 132 kW of power and 240 Nm of torque.
In Kuga, the EcoBoost engines are mated to the specially calibrated, six-speed SelectShift Automatic™ transmission, which is standard and allows drivers who want more hands-on experiences to manually control gear selection from a switch on the shifter.
The gearbox features a new torque converter for improved driving feel, silky smooth shifts and even better fuel economy. Engineers also installed revised gear ratios for a balanced driving feel in all situations.
Other than the more aerodynamic design, Kuga’s Active Grille Shutter system further enhances fuel economy by reducing wind resistance. Grille slats stay open when extra engine cooling air is required, such as low-speed stop-and-go driving. When cruising on the highway at steady speeds, the grille slats automatically close to improve aerodynamics and fuel efficiency.
Sporty exterior accentuates versatile interior
Utilising quality materials and refined craftsmanship, designers infused traditional SUV cues into the modern execution inspired by the sports world. They gave Kuga athletic lines that convey movement and energy from first glance.
The muscular, defined exterior shape is complemented by a dynamic, well-appointed interior featuring new levels of craftsmanship and technology. The spacious SUV seats five comfortably.
The new Kuga’s rear seats have been designed to fold flat easily. With the touch of a button, the head restraint folds down and with the lift of a handle on the seat, the seatback folds and dives as the seat folds flat and clicks into position. Kuga also features an available two-position load floor, which can be configured to allow the customer to choose among maximum luggage volume or flat load floor.
Engaging driving performance through seamless system
Using new advanced software and sensors, the new Intelligent 4WD System analyses data from 25 external signals, including wheel speed, accelerator pedal position and steering wheel angle, assessing road conditions and driver input 20 times faster than the blink of an eye.
The system uses all the sensor inputs to turn the vehicle in the direction the driver wants it to go. Intelligent 4WD builds on the pre-emptive actions by adding and subtracting torque as needed through an electromagnetic clutch.
The all-new Kuga is the first Ford SUV to combine class-exclusive technology to automatically slow the vehicle when it’s cornering too fast or help accelerate through a turn.
Introduced on the all-new global Ford Focus and deployed for the first time with an all-wheel drive vehicle, Torque Vectoring Control uses the vehicle’s brakes to imitate the effect of a limited-slip differential, constantly balancing the distribution of engine torque between the front wheels during cornering, resulting in improved grip and steering and a reduced chance of understeer.
The Kuga also senses when a driver is taking a curve too quickly and rapidly reduces engine torque and can apply four-wheel braking, thus helping the driver to maintain control of the vehicle.
Advanced airbags and high-strength steels
The all-new Kuga combines the safety features and technologies customers really want, including a high-strength steel body and a smart new airbag system. Nearly one-third of the steel in the all-new unibody Kuga is composed of advanced high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel, helping better protect occupants.
Passive safety features include a new advanced airbag restraint system with seven airbags – driver and front passenger airbags, driver’s knee airbag, side front airbags, and side curtain airbags for front- and rear-seat occupants.
The driver’s airbag uses a reconfigured curve-shaped tether system that pulls in the lower section to create a pocket to help lessen the impact of the airbag on the driver’s chest and ribs in frontal crashes. Deploying at the same time is a driver’s knee airbag – offered on Kuga for the first time.
The new side airbags deploy lower in the pelvis area in addition to the chest and incorporate new venting technology, which Kuga brings exclusively to the compact SUV segment. The side airbag’s venting technology takes into account the size of the occupant, varying the pressure so smaller occupants withstand a lower pressure.
In the event of an accident, the SOS Post-Crash Alert System™ flashes signal lights and sounds the horn.
Additionally, the all-new Kuga features a comprehensive suite of cutting edge active safety technologies to help the driver keep the vehicle in control.
The state-of-the-art Electronic Stability Program system uses an array of sensors and intelligent logic to monitor the Kuga’s progress and adjust individual wheel braking and engine power to intervene effectively when required. The system also incorporates Emergency Brake Assist, Hill Launch Assist and Anti-Lock Brake System.
“With the all-new Kuga, Chinese customers will find better, easier ways to connect with technology while maximising fuel efficiency,” said Schoch. “At the same time, this smart utility vehicle will deliver all the versatility and capability they need and want.”