First Sight: Ford Kuga | Article


 

Ford’s extra “pleasant” Kuga compact SUV made its motor present debut in Shanghai on Tuesday forward of worldwide gross sales later this yr.

Ford’s best-selling SUV in Europe was redesigned to present it a sleeker, much less aggressive look, Ford of Europe head of design Amko Leenarts advised Automobile Design Information. “It’s way more assured, however doesn’t have that in-your-face aggressiveness. The client is just not on the lookout for that,” he stated. “The SUV is evolving to be way more sincere, extra pleasant”.

The Kuga seems extra car-like than a conventional SUV, partly as a result of the bonnet edge extends down additional than the high-mounted headlights, much like the Focus. The chunky grille on the outgoing mannequin prolonged up and out past the headlights, creating the concept that it had a excessive centre of gravity.

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The brand new Kuga, known as Escape in China and the US, is longer but in addition 20mm decrease than the outgoing automotive, which was partly associated to aerodynamics and weight discount, but in addition key to reaching this sleeker look, Leenarts stated.

The design additionally makes use of visible methods to de-emphasise the size. “It’s really fairly large, so we’re making an attempt to push the burden ahead a bit,” Leenarts stated, giving the instance of the roof rails stopping earlier than the C-pillar to trick the attention into pondering the roofline begins falling earlier, to present it a extra coupé-ish form. The boot is massive – up by 67 litres on the outgoing mannequin.

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In contrast to the brand new Focus, the Kuga retains the rear quarter gentle window. Ford has disbursed with this within the Focus to present it a extra cab-rearward stance for a extra premium look partly created by the phantasm that it was rear-wheel drive. 

The Kuga was designed within the US with Europe given the duty of making the totally different ‘characters’ of the high-end trim ranges: the sporty ST-Line and upscale Vignale. “Within the US it’s otherwise positioned. It’s virtually a scholar automotive. Right here you’re fairly well-off to personal one,” Leenarts stated. As with totally different variations of the Fiesta and Focus, the differentiation comes within the bumpers, grille and aspect skirts. The bottom Titanium mannequin is closest to the US spec automotive.

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Leenarts additionally hinted {that a} extra off-road centered Lively model shall be unveiled later within the mannequin cycle, mirroring a tactic of producers akin to Volkswagen, which gives an Offroad model of its Tiguan SUV, and Škoda, which sells extra rugged Scout editions of its Karoq and Kodiaq SUVs.

An Lively model would probably return a number of the chunkiness misplaced within the launch fashions with components akin to body-side cladding and silvered underbody guards entrance and rear. Ford gives Lively variations of its Fiesta and Focus as a part of its technique to concentrate on extra high-margin fashions.

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Just like the Focus, the inside of the Kuga is marked out by the high-mounted eight-inch infotainment display that rises above the dashboard, within the fashion presently favoured by designers to maneuver the drivers’ sightline increased.

The brand new Kuga shall be bought with three hybrid fashions, together with a plug-in hybrid. That mannequin acquired no particular design remedy. “It’s a badge and it’s a charger flap,” Leenarts stated. Delicate hybrid know-how is fitted to a 2.0-litre diesel mannequin, whereas a full-hybrid with a 2.5-litre petrol engine arrives in 2020. Consumers may also select 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines with out electrification.

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The third-generation Kuga is constructed on Ford’s new C2 modular platform which began service beneath the brand new Focus. Ford reckons the platform helps scale back weight by 90kg in comparison with the outgoing mannequin with comparable drivetrains. Additionally it is stated to have elevated inside house and “enabled expressive and dynamic design”.

The Kuga is a key component of a push inside Ford to carry SUVs to only beneath 50 p.c of its complete passenger automotive gross sales in Europe from round 1 / 4 now, the brand new Ford president, Stuart Rowley, stated on the launch of the automotive in Amsterdam at first of the month. The drive to get extra consumers into its SUVs is immediately associated to Ford’s makes an attempt to overturn persistent losses within the area and get its prospects shopping for vehicles akin to SUVs with a higher revenue margin.

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Associated to that purpose is the launch of the brand new Puma small SUV later this yr, which joins the Ecosport small SUV to present prospects a sportier, agile-looking different to the extra rugged, upright Ecosport. Ford teased the automotive on the Amsterdam occasion, which revealed a decrease, extra rounded form with high-mounted headlamps within the method of a extra youthful-looking, extra compact model of the Ku



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