The new Ford Kuga features a wide range of modern driver assistance technologies and a high level of standard equipment that can be supplemented by additional optional features.
Many of the available technologies were first showcased on Ford's latest large and luxury models and have been more recently seen on the new 2008 Ford Focus. But Kuga also brings several new features to the segment and to the Ford of Europe portfolio for the first time, such as the 'liftgate in liftgate' tailgate.
New and key features include:
- Standard 'Ford Power' start button (keyless start)
- Optional keyless entry
- Available rear view camera
- 'Liftgate in liftgate' mini tailgate opening
- Ford Easyfuel capless refuelling system
- Optional 230 Volt power socket
- Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) radio tuner
- Connectivity module
- New In Car Entertainment and Infotainment options
- Optional tyre Deflation Detection System (DDS)
- Available panoramic roof
- Blue tinted glass
- Roof rails
Kuga also offers many existing Ford technologies focused on driver convenience and assistance. These include:
- Optional Bi-xenon headlights with 'bluish' reflector
- Optional Quickclear heated front windscreen
- Optional Solar Reflect Infra-Red (IR) windscreen
- Optional Bluetooth system with voice control
- Automatic hazard light warning under emergency braking
- Optional tyre Deflation Detection System (DDS)
- Optional Run Flat Tyres – available from later in 2008
'Ford Power' Start Button (Keyless Start) and Keyless Entry
The 'Ford Power' start button for easy, keyless vehicle activation is a standard feature of both Kuga series.
Centrally and conveniently located in the instrument panel the 'Ford Power' start button gives a best-in-class engine activation time of less than 500 milliseconds. Instead of a conventional ignition key, the driver is provided with an electronic key fob which simply needs to be detected by the system when in, for example, the driver's pocket, for fast and convenient vehicle activation. The Kuga communicates wirelessly with a micro-chip in the key fob to activate the ignition system.
To start the engine, the driver depresses the clutch pedal and then pushes the button to fire the engine. A further push of the button switches the engine and ignition off, with a safeguard to prevent it being operated while the car is in motion. The entertainment and vehicle systems such as the wipers can be activated without starting the engine by pushing the button alone.
The 'Ford Power' button is also used to switch off the engine. Once again, the engineers were keen to build in a more complex sequence to rule out the possibility of the button being briefly pushed or brushed against inadvertently. The 'Ford Power' button needs to be pressed and held for two seconds or to receive three short presses in a two-second timeframe in order to stop the engine.
As an option, and in conjunction with the 'Ford Power' start button, a keyless entry system can be specified to enable whoever is in possession of the key fob to gain access to the vehicle by simply walking within a set boundary and pulling a handle to gain entry.
Rear View Camera
The new tailgate-mounted camera gives a clear, convex view of the area to the rear of the car and displays it in the 7-inch colour display automatically when reverse gear is selected.
The view from the camera is sufficiently wide-angled and low enough to help the driver avoid small obstacles and significantly reduce the likelihood of reversing into low obstacles or small pedestrians.
An additional graphic overlay on the 7-inch colour display shows a two-metre area to the rear of the Kuga and assists the driver by showing where the car will go if the current steering angle is maintained. The graphic illustration's guidelines change colour as the distance to nearby obstacles is reduced.
If it is necessary to select forward gears to make any necessary steering adjustments, the display maintains the rear view for ten seconds or until a forward speed of 15 km/h is reached. Once the reversing manoeuvre is complete the display reverts to show what was displayed immediately prior to reverse gear being selected.
If the high series 7-inch Navigation display is specified a rear-view camera to aid parking manoeuvres comes as standard equipment. The rear parking camera can also be specified as an option when the SD Navigation system is specified.
Mini Tailgate Opening 'Liftgate in Liftgate'
A mini opening tailgate, or 'liftgate in liftgate' is a new feature in the compact crossover segment, and provides a neat opening for the main luggage compartment to place or remove relatively small items without opening the entire tailgate.
The 'liftgate in liftgate' feature also provides a reduced height opening for those occasions where height restrictions may prevent the complete tailgate from raising to its full extent.
Ford Easyfuel Capless Refuelling System
Ford Kuga comes with Ford's award-winning Easyfuel capless refuelling system as standard equipment.
First launched on the new generation Ford Mondeo, the Ford Easyfuel system is simple and easy to use, and is designed to prevent vehicle mis-fuelling and the associated damage, inconvenience and expense.
Benefits of the system are twofold; first, the lack of a conventional filler cap that needs to be removed prior to fuelling the car means that drivers have fewer things to touch, reducing the likelihood of fingers becoming tainted with fuel.
Secondly, the system features a special fuel inhibitor which provides major protection against misfuelling at the fuel pump. The fuel filler neck aperture has been specifically designed around the different sizes of fuel nozzle, and Ford has engineered the system to allow only a nozzle that matches the corresponding fuel type of the car to open and enter the filler neck.
The use of mechanical devices around the nozzle opening and a special flap at the top of the fuel filler neck operate together to seal the opening and provide the same assurance that the system is as secure as when a properly fitted separate cap is used on conventional filling systems.
The Ford Easyfuel system has been extensively tested in all crash impact modes including the standard 80 km/h rear impact followed by a rollover to confirm the safety of the system.
“The practicality and functionality of the Kuga make it a prime candidate to be used by multiple drivers within a family,” noted Tamm. “The dependable signs that some drivers rely on to indicate that a car is powered by diesel have disappeared from modern diesel cars. Contemporary common rail systems, for example, have removed the need for a glow plug warning lamp on the instrument cluster, while the refinement of today's engines can often make the driver forget they are driving a diesel. The Ford Easyfuel system drastically reduces the possibility of the Kuga being mis-fuelled.”
230 Volt Socket
Kuga customers can specify an optional 230 Volt power socket which provides direct power for laptops, printers, vacuum cleaners and other day-to-day appliances. Conveniently located on the rear face of the centre console, electrical appliances up to a capacity of 150 Watts can be powered without the need for a specific inverter for each individual appliance.
Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) Radio Tuner
The new Ford Kuga follows the latest Ford Focus in offering an optional Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) tuner with the high quality Sony CD and 6CD audio systems. This provides enhanced signal strength and superior CD levels of clarity for keen broadcast listeners.
The DAB system receives digital radio broadcasts which enables radio reception in CD quality. The system has already been successfully launched in many European markets and even at this early stage enjoys a high market penetration with the promise of more European territories taking advantage of DAB in the future. The planned rollout for DAB indicates that by 2015 all broadcasters will be using this high quality format.
A new Connectivity Module can also be specified when Sony units and satellite navigation systems are fitted. Hidden away in the centre console the connectivity module includes a USB port, auxiliary jack and 'iPod' connections. Any portable audio device can be connected to the Kuga's audio systems either via a conventional 3.5mm jack or the USB port which forms part of the connectivity module. The AUX connector is particularly significant for users of the latest generation Apple iPod players, as this connection allows full control of the unit's functions through the main audio system.
The Connectivity Module enables functions beyond music entertainment as it also provides customers with voice control of audio systems and climate control. In addition, hands-free and voice control operation of mobile telephones is possible thanks to Bluetooth technology using the Kuga's audio system.
New In-car Entertainment and Infotainment features
The new Ford Kuga offers a comprehensive array of in-car entertainment and infotainment features and systems. The Ford 6000 radio system with single CD facility and auxiliary jack plug is the entry level in-car entertainment equipment. All systems can be further upgraded with a six-disc multi-changer. The higher-end units can be further enhanced with Bluetooth voice control and connectivity for iPod and USB mass storage devices which can be connected to the separate AUX-in socket located in the centre console.
The Bluetooth handsfree and Voice Control System enables voice control for a mobile phone, audio system and Dual Electronic Automatic Temperature Control DEATC system. Features include direct access to the phone book memory through the audio system and voice controlled dialling for safer handsfree calling. A higher specification module adds the facility for a USB memory stick and AUX connector to be used in the car, which allows MP3 files and music players to play through the system.
Optional new navigation systems for the Ford Kuga ensure that the destination is reached easily and safely whilst avoiding traffic hold-ups.
The Ford Kuga offers a favourably priced CD-SD navigation system which will be an attractive alternative to portable aftermarket systems. This model is fitted with a 5-inch TFT colour display and the system is also very flexible in the way it is operated. A key feature is an industry-first additional slot for SD storage cards, enabling the driver to plug map material or MP3 music data into the system.
The new Ford DVD navigation system used in the Kuga is a state-of-the-art navigation system which features a full colour, 7-inch display screen and includes touch-screen controls. The climate, audio and navigation systems can be controlled using the touch-screen and a repeater screen is included in the centre of the main instrument cluster. Aligned with latest Ford family designs, the cluster and switches are illuminated in red.
Tyre Deflation Detection System (DDS)
Kuga features an available tyre pressure Deflation Detection System (DDS). Applicable to all wheel and tyre options, a single warning light in the instrument cluster warns of changes to tyre diameters and possible tyre pressure loss while driving through tyre damage or deflation.
If pressure loss is experienced in one or more of the tyres, the ABS-ESP module will detect a different spin diameter for the affected wheel(s) and warn the driver via an indicator in the instrument panel. This enables the driver to act quickly and prevent situations in which the car may behave erratically or sustain tyre damage.
At 1050mm x 785mm the glass area of the panoramic Kuga roof is one of the largest in the segment. The panoramic roof is optionally available to both model series and forms part of the Seasons Pack for Trend and Titanium X series. When the panoramic roof is specified two manual sunblinds are also fitted for those occasions when shade is desired. In addition, the roof glass has a special infra-red (IR) coating that has proven during internal tests to reduce reflection by 35 per cent, as opposed to five per cent for non-IR glass.
Blue Tinted Glass
Often the domain of vehicles in the large and luxury or premium segment, blue tinted glass availability for the Kuga provides a touch of exclusivity and individuality. Standard equipment on the Titanium series, it adds a premium feel to the cool modernity of this model.
Available Roof Rails
Stylish, arched roof rails have been designed for the new Kuga and are available either as a stand-alone option or as part of the Style Pack which is suitable for both Trend and Titanium series. Applicable to either the solid roof panel or the panoramic roof, the roof rails are functional as well as decorative and able to take a load of 75 kg. The rails have two mounting points and provide high flexibility for cross-bar and positioning of the load.
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