The Ford Kuga joins a highly acclaimed and successful vehicle portfolio that is recognised for its safety standards and performance.
“We put a lot of resources into making our cars as safe as possible for our customers and all other road users,” said Herrmann. “We employ a whole-vehicle holistic and no-compromise approach.”
A high quantity and standard of active and passive safety features have been incorporated into the Kuga and, like all Ford models, this starts with the highly effective and stiff body structure which absorbs the impact energy in defined crush zones and provides high resistance to deformation of the passenger safety cell.
A high amount of Ultra High Strength Steel (UHSS) delivers a rigid, yet lightweight passenger cell, providing greater side and frontal impact protection.
Extra strong materials enable window pillars to be very slim. This helps to maximise visibility and enables the option of the large panoramic roof to be fitted. Through the implementation of more dual phase steels – located in the rocker, tunnel, A- and B-pillars – the integrity of the passenger cell has been further improved without significantly adding weight.
The new Ford Kuga builds on a strong heritage and no-compromise approach to safety, refining the Ford Intelligent Protection System (IPS) further through the use of its high strength steel and impact protection advances. IPS is a cohesive system of passive safety features, which work together to maximise occupant protection. This is supported by advanced and comprehensive active safety equipment that positively assists the driver.
Ford's proven 'Intelligent Protection System' for the Kuga incorporates a number of standard safety features. A total of six airbags include front and side airbags for front seats plus head and shoulder curtain airbags covering the first and second row of seats. Additional standard features are anti-submarining seats with height adjustable headrests for all passengers; pyrotechnic safety belt pre-tensioners and safety belt load limiters for the front seats.
A driver protection feature already established in Ford of Europe's large and luxury car segment is the Horizontal Stroking Steering Column. In the event of a high speed frontal impact the steering wheel strokes horizontally away from the driver, further reducing loads to the occupant's head and chest.
To provide the best possible occupant safety – including rear passengers and child seat safety – the vehicle deceleration 'crash pulse' of the Kuga is optimised to achieve a low and distributed pulse level. An effective average deceleration level can only be achieved if a maximum of the front end length can be used for deformation and the passenger compartment intrusions are fully controlled.
“For the Kuga we have optimised the crash pulse and adapted all of the passive restraint systems accordingly to ensure that airbag activation, for example, is precisely tailored to the type of impact the vehicle is involved in,” explained Tamm.
One of the greatest challenges during the programme was the development of a front axle subframe system which is designed to decouple from the body structure in the event of a frontal impact. Decoupling provides high levels of passenger protection and it is designed to release under a predefined load. Avoiding large deformation and accelerations within the passenger cell structure reduces loads to the driver and passengers. The decoupling feature is a technology that is proprietary to Ford Motor Company and is a result of the company's shared technologies initiative.
Kuga front seat occupants also benefit from an advanced neck injury protection system. The advanced headrest shape provides minimal relative movement between the occupant's head and upper body during low speed rear impacts. The headrest is designed to allow guidance of the occupant, as early guidance keeps the head and neck free of impulsive movement, resulting in less neck strain.
Additional passive safety features support the driver and passengers in the new Kuga.
Safety belt reminders are fitted as standard for the front seat passenger and the driver to ensure that their safety belts are always correctly fastened. Unbelted occupants will be given an audible and visual warning. Safety belt pre-tensioners are also fitted to the front safety belts.
ISOFIX child seat fasteners are fitted on both outer rear seats of the second row for easy handling and to provide facility for a high degree of child protection.
Engineered for Pedestrian Protection
The Kuga has been developed to meet and exceed the latest pedestrian protection requirements. Special actions ensure the highest levels of pedestrian safety and injury mitigation in the event of a collision. These actions include soft bumper material, empty space between the bumper and the front panel and radiator, breakaway headlights, front wings manufactured from recycled plastic and a carefully shaped bonnet edge structure.
Under-bonnet components are located a sufficient distance away from the outer skin to avoid a direct impact with pedestrians. Parts located within the potential impact zone have carefully engineered features such as 'breakaway' wiper spindles and 'collapsible' bonnet hinges.
Active Driver Assistance
Significant standard safety technologies provide high levels of driver control under all conditions. The standard Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) has Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with Anti Rollover Mitigation (ARM), and includes Electronic Brake Assist (EBA). These systems are detailed in the Driving Quality section.
Ford has also introduced an array of optional, affordable and beneficial driver assistance technologies to the new Kuga, including:
- Optional Bi-xenon headlights with 'bluish' reflector. Bi-xenon headlights deliver twice the power of conventional halogen lights. A cleaning system is cleverly integrated into the headlights, improving the stylish design.
- Automatic hazard light activation under emergency braking
- Quickclear heated front windscreen
- Solar reflect Infra-Red (IR) windscreen
- Bluetooth with voice control
- Run Flat Tyres � available from later in 2008
- Optional tyre Deflation Detection System (DDS)
- Auto headlights and wipers. Standard on Titanium series, sensors automatically detect reduced light or rain on the screen and switch on the headlights or wipers accordingly. These actions combine to aid visibility and ensure the Kuga is seen by other roadusers.
- Rear view camera. Displays automatically when the 7-inch satellite navigation system has been specified, whenever reverse gear is selected and reduces the risk of Kuga causing injury to pedestrians when reversing.
The intelligent AWD system has been devised and engineered to incorporate high standards of its own safety features. The standard ABS with ESP is further enhanced with an Anti Rollover Mitigation (ARM) feature. When the Kuga is used for towing, a dedicated trailer stability feature – Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) – measures the yaw of the car and instantly and seamlessly corrects any lateral forces that exceed 'normal' tolerances of the trailer to the car.
Active safety systems are a key element in assisting a driver to maintain control of the vehicle, reducing the risk of a collision. For Kuga, these include:
– Standard Anti-lock Brake System( ABS)
– Standard Electronic Stability Programme (ESP)
– Standard Traction Control System (TCS)
– Standard Trailer Stability Assist (TSA)
– Standard Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD)
– Standard Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)
In addition high visibility rear lighting is a standard feature of both Kuga series and drive options. The combination of high mounted LED third brake light, and unique rear lamp styling and indicator bulbs using the latest illumination technology underline the safety commitment. The bulbs are designed to last the car's lifetime too, reducing the scenario of a rear light not working.
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