My thoughts on all things motoring, press releases, reviews & techie stuff, from around the world.
Please note that the pictures of vehicles within this blog are used as examples of the specific press releases, on occasions, due to the lack of available official pictures, examples are re-produced.
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I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.
Monday, 24 October 2016
Ford launches new ST derived Kuga and updates the model, of which it is the start of five new or refreshed SUV's for Ford.
New Ford Kuga SUV offers technology that enables drivers to voice activate apps from their smartphone, park hands-free in side-by-side spaces and avoid collisions
Sporty exterior features bold new trapezoidal grille, new headlights incorporating LED daytime running lights, and new colours Guard Grey and vibrant Copper Pulse
Ford’s 120PS 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine delivers 64.2 mpg and 115g/km CO2; Ford Intelligent All Wheel Drive enhances grip, especially in slippery conditions
Meticulously crafted interior offers simpler controls and improved comfort with heated steering wheel. Adaptive Front Lighting System tailors Kuga headlight beam to environment
Technologically advanced Kuga is one of five all-new or redesigned Ford vehicles that will compete in the SUV and crossover space in the next three years
The new Ford Kuga delivers an even more technologically advanced, refined and affordable sports utility vehicle (SUV), making driving simpler, safer and more enjoyable for growing numbers of SUV customers in the UK.
The new Kuga offers Ford’s sophisticated SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system, innovative driver assistance technologies, an ergonomic and comfortable interior, and powerful and efficient engines including Ford’s 120PS 1.5-litre TDCi diesel that returns 64.2 mpg and 115g/km CO2. *
The new Kuga also features Ford’s Perpendicular Parking technology that helps drivers park hands‑free in spaces alongside other cars; an enhanced version of the Active City Stop collision avoidance system; and Ford’s Adaptive Front Lighting System for optimised visibility in low light.
Further advanced technologies include Hands-Free Liftgate and Ford Intelligent All Wheel Drive (AWD).
“New Kuga offers cutting-edge new features and technologies that will help drivers stay connected, comfortable, safe and stylish on the road,” said Joe Bakaj, vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe. “The sophisticated redesign has given Kuga a fresh and modern feel, while SYNC 3 enables drivers to communicate with their vehicle and connected devices in seamless ways that would have seemed impossible just a few years ago.”
Seamlessly connected with SYNC 3
The new Ford Kuga enables drivers to control audio and navigation functions plus connected smartphones using simple, more conversational voice commands, with Ford’s new SYNC 3 connectivity system. Ford has drawn on more than 22,000 comments, and insights gained from research clinics and surveys to ensure the new version is the most customer‑centric system to date.
SYNC 3 delivers faster performance, simplified commands, and supports five additional languages. ** Simply by pushing a button and saying “I need a coffee,” “I need petrol,” and “I need to park,” drivers can locate nearby cafés, petrol stations or car parks, and find train stations, airports, and hotels.
Kuga drivers can operate SYNC 3’s 8-inch touchscreen in the same way that they use their smartphones. A new interface features larger, easier to operate buttons and enables pinch and swipe gestures for the first time.
iPhone users can activate Apple CarPlay, the smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car allowing drivers to make phone calls, access music, send and receive messages, get directions optimised for traffic conditions, and more while they stay focused on the road. Android™ users can activate Android Auto™. Android Auto makes apps and services that drivers already know and love, accessible in safer and seamless ways including Google Search, Google Maps and Google Play. Software can be updated over-the-air via Wi-Fi.
SYNC 3 also delivers SYNC AppLink for customers, enabling voice-activation from the driver’s seat of a range of smartphone apps that include Glympse, Aupeo, Spotify, MyBoxMan, HearMeOut, AccuWeather, and Los 40 Principales.
“Whether you are craving your morning cappuccino on your daily commute or covering the cost of a journey by transporting a package, SYNC 3 brings to life innovative new ways of staying connected on the move,” saidChristof Kellerwessel, chief engineer, Electronic and Electrical Systems Engineering, Ford of Europe. “Designed to complement modern smartphones, with an intuitive 8‑inch touch screen, SYNC 3 understands more natural speech, is faster, and offers an easier-to-read graphical interface.”
Sophisticated technology for stress-free parking
The new Ford Kuga makes driving and parking simpler for customers using sophisticated Ford driver assistance technologies. New Perpendicular Parking functionality enhances the semi-autonomous Active Park Assist technology specified by almost half of Kuga customers last year. Using additional ultrasonic sensors, Perpendicular Parking at the push of a button enables drivers to locate parking spaces alongside other cars as well as parallel to the road, and steers the vehicle into them while the driver controls the accelerator and brake.
Additional sensors enable technologies that also help Kuga drivers as they manoeuvre out of parking spaces:
Cross Traffic Alert warns drivers reversing out of a parking space of vehicles that may soon be crossing behind them. Operating with radar at a range of up to 40 metres (131 feet), the system issues three warning signals if it detects a vehicle approaching from either side
Park-Out Assist helps drivers as they exit a parallel parking space. After the driver has chosen either the left or right hand side the system operates the steering while the driver operates the accelerator and brake
New Kuga offers an enhanced version of Ford’s Active City Stop collision avoidance system, which now operates at speeds of up to 31 mph, increased from 19 mph. Active City Stop uses sensors at the front of the vehicle to look for stationary objects in the road ahead and pre-charges the brakes if the vehicle is approaching an object too quickly. If the driver still does not respond the system reduces engine torque and automatically applies the brakes to reduce the impact of collisions, or avoid them altogether.
The latest generation Ford MyKey technology allows new Kuga owners to programme a key for younger drivers that can inhibit incoming phone calls; restrict top speed; prevent deactivation of driver assistance and safety features; reduce audio system maximum volume, and disable the audio system altogether if occupants are not using safety belts. The enhanced MyKey system offers a greater number of choices in both the speed limiter and speed minder settings.
The new Kuga features Ford’s latest design language for a bold and sporty look that is shared with the EcoSport compact SUV and new Edge large SUV. A large upper trapezoidal grille and a smaller lower grille are flanked by sleek new headlamps incorporating LED daytime running lights and complemented by stylish fog lamps.
Restyled taillights complete the sporty look, while a new range of 17-, 18- and 19-inch alloy wheel designs also are available in variety of finishes including Luster Nickel. Two new colours, Guard Grey and the vibrant Copper Pulse, are offered throughout the range. A power-operated retractable tow bar automatically stores itself out of sight below the rear bumper when not in use, to retain the new Kuga’s sporty looks.
The new Kuga’s meticulously crafted interior has been refined to offer a more ergonomic, stylish and comfortable experience for occupants.
The steering wheel and air-conditioning controls are even more intuitive, and feature fewer and more easily distinguishable buttons and switches, making the controls easier to recognise and navigate. The steering wheel is also offered with heated leather to improve comfort in cold weather, while all automatic new Kuga models will feature paddle-shift controls that enable drivers to manually select gears while keeping their hands on the wheel.
New convenience features make Kuga even more user-friendly; an electronic parking brake is effortless to operate and frees room for improved storage in a centre console that now also features a storage area capable of accommodating a variety of bottles and cups, and a new USB connection point for integrating and charging mobile devices. A door lock indicator now tells drivers at a glance whether the doors are locked.
The New Kuga also offers Hands-Free Liftgate that can be opened or closed using a kicking motion beneath the rear bumper. The technology, which was specified by more than 1-in-3 Kuga customers in Europe last year, helps parents to easily access the boot when returning to their vehicle with shopping, pushchairs or toddlers.
The Ford Performance-inspired new Kuga ST-Line and luxurious new Kuga Vignale also are available for the first time, offering customers greater choice of styling and specification as part of the most comprehensive Kuga line-up ever.
Kuga ST-Line delivers bold exterior and interior styling including unique alloy wheels and sport seat designs, and joins the Fiesta ST-Line, Focus ST-Line and Mondeo ST-Line as part of Ford’s new range of ST-Line models. The new Kuga ST-Line also will offer the sportiest Kuga driving dynamics yet, with chassis enhancements including optimised suspension and steering for reduced body roll and sharper responses.
The upscale Kuga Vignale is offered in exclusive specification including unique Vignale pearlescent Milano Grigio exterior colour, with the model’s premium character further heightened with unique hexagonal-quilted Windsor leather featuring prominent tuxedo-style stitching for the seats and door interiors.
Vignale is the highest expression of the Ford brand in Europe; a contemporary, upscale product and ownership experience bringing together award-winning design, high-quality craftsmanship, advanced technologies and exclusive specifications. Kuga Vignale follows the Ford Mondeo Vignale, S-MAX Vignale and Edge Vignale in Europe.
Powerful and fuel-efficient engines
The new Kuga features Ford’s latest TDCi diesel and EcoBoost petrol engines for optimised performance alongside low CO2 emissions for reduced running costs.
Offering 64.2 mpg and 115g/km CO2, Ford’s 120PS 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine with six-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive (FWD) delivers a 5 per cent fuel efficiency improvement compared with the outgoing 120PS 2.0-litre TDCi.
Further sophisticated diesel powertrains include:
120PS 1.5-litre TDCi 6-speed PowerShift FWD offering 58.8 mpg and 124g/km CO2
150PS 2.0-litre TDCi 6-speed manual FWD offering 60.1 mpg and 122g/km CO2, 6-speed manual AWD offering 54.3 mpg and 135g/km CO2, or 6-speed PowerShift AWD offering 54.3 mpg and 134g/km CO2
180PS 2.0-litre TDCi 6-speed manual AWD offering 54.3 mpg and 135g/km CO2, or 6-speed PowerShift AWD offering 54.3 mpg and 134g/km CO2
Ford’s 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre TDCi engines feature advanced new diesel engine technologies including a lean NOX trap for cleaner exhaust emissions, components with a special Diamond Like Coating that reduces friction, and a sophisticated Variable Nozzle Turbocharger for enhanced engine breathing.
Ford’s turbocharged EcoBoost petrol engines feature advanced technologies including high-pressure direct fuel injection and Twin-independent Variable Cam Timing. Kuga EcoBoost powertrain options include:
120PS and 150PS 1.5-litre EcoBoost 6-speed manual FWD offering 44.8 mpg and 145g/km CO2
182PS 1.5-litre EcoBoost 6-speed automatic AWD offering 37.7 mpg and 173g/km CO2
Ford fuel-saving technologies offered across the range include Auto-Start-Stop and Smart Regenerative Charging that selectively engages the alternator and charges the battery when the vehicle is coasting and braking to recapture energy that would otherwise be lost.
Enhanced visibility and safety
The latest Ford technologies and sophisticated body engineering help drivers see more clearly and enhance safety on the road for new Kuga occupants and other road users.
Ford’s Adaptive Front Lighting System is available for the first time on Kuga. The system monitors ambient light conditions and automatically optimises visibility by adjusting the beam angle of the new bi-xenon headlights to one of seven settings depending on the vehicle’s speed, steering angle and distance to an object in front.
The Adaptive Front Lighting System features a Weather-Dependent Lighting mode that automatically adjusts headlights to help drivers spot roadside hazards in extreme heavy rain. After detecting a downpour, the system shortens and widens the headlight beam to better illuminate the side of the road and reduce glare for other drivers from flooded roads.
The new Kuga’s sculpted bonnet features a wider, uninterrupted central dome that not only serves to complement Kuga’s sporty new looks, but also incorporates a structural design that more closely controls deformability and flexibility of the bonnet, improving pedestrian protection in an accident. The bonnet and rear liftgate also have been re-engineered to help mitigate damage to more expensive-to-replace components following a collision.
New Kuga also offers advanced Ford technologies, including:
Ford Intelligent All Wheel Drive, which adjusts the amount of torque sent to each wheel, optimising handling and traction especially in slippery conditions
Curve Control, which mitigates against loss of control should a driver enter a bend with too much speed
Torque Vectoring Control, which enhances the driving experience by applying a small amount of braking to inside wheels to assist traction and stability when cornering
“Sophisticated technologies like our Intelligent All Wheel Drive enhance safety and confidence for our customers,” Bakaj said. “Intelligent All Wheel Drive measures how the car’s wheels are gripping the road surface and can make adjustments in less than 20 milliseconds – 20 times quicker than it takes to blink.”
The new Ford Kuga follows the introduction of the larger Edge SUV earlier this year, and an updated compact EcoSport SUV last year. Ford is bolstering its SUV line-up just as it has been predicted by industry sales analyst IHS that sales in the SUV segment are poised to increase to 27 percent of all vehicles sold in Europe by 2020.
New Kuga and the Edge are among five all-new or redesigned Ford vehicles that will compete in the SUV and crossover space in the next three years.
Kuga spearheaded the company’s SUV expansion in the UK after first going on sale in 2008, and sales increased to 32,926 in 2015 – up by over 35 per cent compared with 2014 (24,353). Kuga sales in September 2016 grew by 815 units (16 per cent) year-on-year to 5,906, with 29,217 year to date sales, making it the best 10 months and September since launch.
Ford EcoSport sales hit 2,403 units in September, with the Titanium S model creating 2,371 orders since its introduction in March 2016. Ford Edge customer orders have exceeded 1,440 since the model’s European launch. Ford sold 43,129 SUVs in the first three-quarters of 2016 – more than a 30 per cent improvement on the same period last year.
“SUVs have grown from a tiny niche in Europe to one of the most significant automotive trends of the past decade,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales & Service, Ford of Europe. “Every time someone predicts SUV sales will cool down, they are proven wrong. That’s because SUVs have widespread appeal with men and woman, young and older people.”