Ford has revealed a radical redesign with the debut of its third-generation Kuga.
The mid-sized SUV is an important product anchor
for Ford’s global operations, but of particular interest to South African
followers of the brand. An ongoing court-case relating to fire issues with
older Kugas have dented sales of the SUV locally and it remains to be seen if
this new model can regain confidence in the nameplate from local Ford customers.
In terms of appearance the new car features
Ford’s oversized, and ovoid-shaped, grille. The roof has been trimmed lower and
bonnet shaped to appear longer, but although the vehicle is slightly longer and
wider overall, it manages to be 90kg lighter than the previous generation Kuga.
Ford’s most notable design theme with new
Kuga is electrification. Amongst the choice of powertrains, which tally the familiar
fare of Ford’s current 1.5- and 2-litre turbocharged diesels and 1.5-litre triple-cylinder
turbocharged petrol, is an impressive 2.5-litre petrol hybrid.
Rated in scale of power, the Kuga 1.5 diesel
is good for 88kW, matched in output by its 1.5-litre petrol sibling, which is
also available in a 110kW version. The 2-litre turbodiesel Kuga boosts 140kW.
Most impressive of this new Kuga’s engine
options is the 2.5-litre petrol hybrid. Featuring an integrated electric motor/generator
system and 14.4kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the Kuga plug-in hybrid’s total
system output is 168kW. That power number should make for spirited performance and
if you are stuck in traffic, it can run on pure electric power for 50km, saving
Ford’s vaunted in-car connectivity is very
much present with the third-generation Kuga too. The cabin features wireless
charging, a redesigned eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system (powered by Ford’s
latest Sync 3 operating system) and vehicle data and functions are displayed to
the driver’s attention in a 12.3-inch digital instrumentation cluster.
Those potential new Kuga customers who love
their music, will also have option on orchestral quality sound
systems, from Danish acoustic specialist, Bang & Olufsen.