Ford has revealed an all-new Kuga SUV at this week’s LA Auto Show. The car you see here is the US-market Escape, but it will arrive at March’s Geneva show with a Kuga badge and only minor changes to the grille and foglights.
Previously, the Escape and Kuga were two separate models, sold in the States and Europe respectively. But as part of the One Ford initiative the pair will now be virtually identical. An updated Kuga shape is teamed with Ford’s new family face, which carries over the Vertrek concept’s narrow grille and split lower intakes.
Ford has answered criticism of the current car by improving practicality. The new model has a maximum load area of 1,928 litres – that’s 600 litres more than before – and extra rear space. The dash is borrowed from the new Focus and C-MAX, updated with a large touchscreen display on the centre console.
Additional new technology includes a hands-free bootlid. Drivers approaching the car with their hands full and the keyfob in their pocket can now simply make a kick action under the rear bumper and the boot will open.
As with the Focus, Ford will also offer optional blindspot warning and self-parking systems as options, while under the skin is the same platform as used by the Focus and C-MAX.
The Kuga also features a Curve Control set-up to help tighten the car’s line in a corner, plus torque vectoring to shuffle power to the wheels with the most grip.
It’s all part of Ford’s intelligent four-wheel-drive system, which is claimed to monitor 25 different parameters from wheel speed to steering angles, to ensure the Kuga can cope in slippery conditions.
Two-wheel-drive models are also expected, while power will come from a range of EcoBoost petrol turbos, including the 148bhp 1.6-litre.
Diesels will be the big sellers, with Renault Twingo Forums Ford expected to offer 1.6 and 2.0-litre versions of its TDCi with 114bhp, 138bhp and 161bhp respectively.
The most efficient Kugas should return nearly 60mpg thanks to stop-start, an active grille shutter and energy-recuperation systems. A six-speed manual gearbox will come as standard, but Ford’s dual-clutch PowerShift box will be available as an option.
Prices are likely to increase slightly, with the new Kuga range costing from around £22,500 when sales start next summer.
Read more: http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/motorshows/los-angeles-motor-show/275176/new_ford_kuga_revealed.html