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2012-03-06 12:42

KUGA GETS SLEEKER: We've just received the Ford Kuga in South Africa - this is the next one due in 2013 and shown at Geneva.

GENEVA, Switzerland – The all-new Ford Kuga was unveiled today at the 2012 Geneva auto show “with new technologies and a more streamlined, stylish and spacious design than the current model”.

Ford adds that the SUV will launch worldwide under the One Ford strategy, including in North America where it will be called the Escape, as one of 10 cars to be built on the same medium-car segment platform as the Ford Focus.

“This Kuga is more spacious, dynamic and capable,” Ford adds, “than the current model (launched in South Africa only in January, 2012) which continues to be popular with our European customers.”


The Kuga will become available in right-hand drive guise in the UK early in 2013 and reach South Africa in that year too, though a Ford SA spokesman could not say exactly when.

Technological improvements for the new version include a hands-free auto tail door which can be opened and closed simply by kicking a foot under the rear bumper. That should do mom’s Manolo Blahniks a deal of good...

“Innovative technologies such as this clearly set new Kuga apart from its competitors,” said Ford Europe chairman and CEO, Stephen Odell, "but more importantly they provide customers with everyday advantages.”

Among them are voice control, device integration and an in-car connectivity system called SYNC which will be available from launch. It will include the ability to phone for emergency assistance if an air bag is deployed or the fuel cut-off switch thown – including the car’s GPS co-ordinates.

A range of driver assistance technologies - including parallel parking, parking radar and a “sensor-based blind spot information system” will also be available.

The coming Kuga has 442 litres of boot space (82 more than the current model) and electric release to drop the rear seats flat.

Martin Smith, Ford Europe’s executive design director, said: “We’ve evolved the vehicle to incorporate more space and a faster silhouette, a more precise execution and a higher-quality feel.”


The Kuga’s 4x4 system, Ford says, assesses traction “20 times faster than it takes to blink an eye” to adjust the torque split to give the driver the best blend of handling and traction.

“Dynamics and cornering control have been improved by the introduction of the torque vectoring control first found on the new Ford Focus.”

Engines available from launch in the UK will include 105 and 123kW versions of Ford’s two-litre turbodiesel engine with an auto box an option and Ford’s 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, already available in the Focus.

Read more reports about the 2012 Geneva auto show.


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