Ford of Europe has an Individual Program that's been rolled out for a number of old world offerings, and now the Kuga gets its turn in the wardrobe room. Inspired by the Iosis concept from 2006, the new body kit and 20-inch wheels clothe a specialized interior for the Kuga Titanium that features Ebony Nappa and Bond leathers with contrasting piping and high-gloss Piano White fixtures.
Down in front, the Kuga will benefit from a new 2.5-liter, 5-cylinder Duratec Turbo with 200 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque that comes out of the Focus ST. It should add some sporty to the spaciousness while returning 29 Imperial mpg. This gas engine is 64 hp up on the standard offering, the Duratorq TDCi diesel. Another first for the Kuga, it can be shifted with an optional 3-mode, 5-speed automatic transmission.
On another note, the Duratec puts out a more energetic sound thanks to new exhaust tuning. The Individual program and powertrain options will be available from the beginning of 2009, and the first Kuga Individual showcasing what customers will be able to do goes on display at this week's Paris Motor Show. In the mean time, check out the gallery of high-res photos below.
FORD OFFERS MORE PERFORMANCE AND STYLE FOR NEW KUGA CROSSOVER
- Paris debut of new powertrain and styling options for dynamic Ford Kuga crossover
- New 200 PS, 2.5-litre Duratec Turbo petrol engine offers genuine performance
- Optional new Durashift 5-tronic automatic transmission for ultra-smooth gear changes
- Ford Individual interior styling package previewed at 2008 Paris Motor Show
- New optional body kit and 20" wheels for stylish vehicle personalisation
Early in 2009, the dynamic Kuga range will be extended with the availability of an exciting new 200 PS, 2.5-litre Duratec Turbo petrol engine as well as a new optional Durashift 5-tronic automatic transmission.
In addition to these new powertrain choices, the Kuga will also be available with Ford Individual vehicle personalisation options, combining a new exterior body kit and specially designed 20-inch alloy wheels with a classy interior treatment.
Smooth and Powerful
Although the 136 PS 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel engined Ford Kuga is no slouch, the addition of the dynamic new 200 PS 2.5-litre Duratec 5-cylinder Turbo petrol engine to the range offers drivers smooth but agile power and high torque levels over a wide speed range, combined with a high level of refinement and a distinctive engine sound.
The new engine for Kuga is based on the well-proven and acclaimed Ford 2.5-litre Duratec Turbo engine already available in the latest Ford Mondeo and S-MAX models as well as the sporty Focus ST.
The unit has been carefully re-calibrated for the Kuga to meet the performance expectations that customers have in the compact All-Wheel-Drive crossover segment.
Gunnar Herrmann, C-Car Vehicle Line Director, Ford of Europe said, "We always intended the new Kuga to be the most dynamic crossover vehicle in its class. The new 2.5-litre Duratec Turbo petrol powertrain offers extra performance and is a perfect match for the vehicle. The added power and refinement adds a lot of fun when driving Kuga both on- and off-road."
The Ford Kuga 2.5 Turbo comes with the acclaimed, Haldex Gen 4 Intelligent AWD system and manual 6-speed transmission as standard, and delivers impressive performance. With a maximum power output of 200 PS (147 kW) at 6,000 rpm and a linear torque peak of 320 Nm being available from 1,600 up to 4,000 rpm, the vehicle reaches a top speed of 208 kph. For a vehicle in this segment and performance, the homologated combined fuel economy of just 9.9 l/100 km (average CO2 output
234 g/km) is very reasonable.
But it's not all about performance. A detailed re-tuning of the exhaust tone makes sure that the driver can really enjoy the characteristic and sonorous 5-cylinder turbo sound - powerful yet highly refined.
Herrmann said, "Even though we expect the majority of customers across Europe to opt for the power and compelling fuel economy and environmental figures of the 136 PS 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi powertrain, we wanted to meet the demands of customers in many markets who have asked us for a high performance petrol engine to complement the Kuga's distinctive and sporty style. The Kuga 2.5 is a real driver's vehicle!"
The new Kuga 2.5-litre Duratec Turbo will be available to customers all over Europe from the beginning of 2009.
An Automatic Choice
As an option, the Ford Kuga equipped with the new 2.5-litre Duratec engine will also be available with the Durashift 5-tronic automatic transmission.
This combination not only takes full advantage of the high and very linear torque performance of the 5-cylinder turbo engine, it also adds significant comfort, refinement and versatility to the Kuga.
Key to the versatility of the new Durashift 5-tronic is the ability for the driver to switch between different modes. To allow maximum driver involvement, a Manual mode is provided, giving full control of the five forward gears. Sport and Manual modes give faster transmission reaction times to minimal throttle inputs from the driver, providing a sportier and more dynamic driving style.
When the 'S' mode is engaged, the driver can enjoy the fully automatic Sport mode which activates up- and downshifts at different shift points as appropriate. Information related to modes and gear selection is provided in the central instrument cluster display.
The transmission hardware was designed and manufactured for Ford by Aisin AW, a company with a worldwide and longstanding reputation for providing reliable transmissions that break new ground in the automatic transmission arena. Fords' engineers worked closely with Aisin AW to tailor the Transmission Control Module (TCM) software to complement and enhance the Kuga's driving dynamics performance.
The TCM incorporates sophisticated, adaptive learning procedures. After the prescribed running-in period the transmission will provide optimum gear shifting smoothness for all conditions irrespective of terrain or driver input. The transmission will adapt to perform within its optimum window of operation to always provide maximum smoothness when changing gear, irrespective of the mode selected.
The new Durashift 5-tronic is very efficient, too. With a combined fuel economy being homologated at 10.3 l/100 km (average CO2 output 244 g/km), the fuel consumption is just 0.4 l/100 km higher than with the standard 6-speed manual transmission. Combined with the new Duratec 2.5-litre Turbo, the new Durashift 5-tronic for Kuga will hit European dealerships in early 2009.
Style for the Individual
Following in the footsteps of the Ford Mondeo, S-MAX, Galaxy and New Fiesta, the Ford Kuga will be available with an exciting and very luxurious Ford Individual interior treatment.
Ford's Vehicle Personalisation Design Team has developed a luxurious interior option for the top-of-the-range Kuga Titanium that was inspired by the iosis X Concept first shown at the 2006 Paris Motor Show and the Kuga preview vehicle that was displayed at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Laura Blossfeld-Smith, Interior Designer, Vehicle Personalisation, Ford of Europe, explains, "With Ford Individual we are looking for additional quality options for customers who wish to enhance their vehicles further. Customers for stylish vehicles like the Kuga often express a wish to make their car more individual than the norm. The Paris show car interior is a preview of what will be available to Kuga customers early next year."
Taking full advantage of the 'kinetic' shapes of the Kuga's interior, the Ford Individual Design team has developed a completely new colour scheme, and combined it with premium quality materials, with contrasting colours and textures.
For the seats, two ultra-high quality leathers have been chosen. Very smooth, Ebony coloured Nappa leather is used on the seat bolsters and seatbacks, with specially padded areas of the seat cushions and backrests. The characteristic 'Individual' logo is embossed on the upper area of the seatback. The majority of the seat is finished in a matching colour, using a more heavily grained 'Bond' leather which provides a contrasting surface appearance as well as a high amount of grip.
Both leathers are further distinguished from each other by the use of a contrasting light grey piping, also highlighting the expressive and 'kinetic' shapes of the seat graphic.
To match the seat design and the Ice White exterior colour of the Paris preview vehicle, all prominent interior trim parts such as the centre console cladding, centre stack surfaces and the boomerang-shaped interior door-pull handles are finished in a
high-gloss 'Piano White' finish.
Ford's Vehicle Personalisation Design team is also developing a distinctive bodykit for the new Kuga, and this is showcased on the Paris Show vehicle.
"With the Kuga establishing itself rapidly as the stylish new member of the Ford kinetic design family, we were looking for a dramatic and distinctive body kit which we could offer to our Kuga customers interested in further enhancing the already very sporty appearance of the standard car," said John McLeod, Chief Designer, Vehicle Personalisation, Ford of Europe. "The result is very striking - I think we can claim we have succeeded in attaining our goal as well as making a clear link to the styling of the dramatic iosis X Concept and Kuga preview show cars."
This reference is evident at first glance, thanks to the front grilles which incorporate a distinctive vertical bar design and strong, chromed intakes. The lower grille is framed by broad chrome 'scoops' inspired by the iosis X Concept which instantly distinguish the Kuga with Ford Individual styling features from the standard car.
The extremely dynamic and powerful stance is further enhanced by body coloured wheel arch extensions, lower rocker claddings, and new bumpers which have been extended some 50 millimetres lower than the original design. All of these items have been finished in body colour, to make the Kuga fitted with Ford Individual styling features stand out.
Matching front and rear skid plates have also been lowered by approximately
50 millimetres, with fully encapsulated tail pipes at the rear. These and the door claddings are painted in a contrasting silver colour for added effect.
Two other features that contribute to the overtly sporty appearance of the Kuga with its Ford Individual styling elements are the new rear spoiler and alloy wheel designs.
The rear spoiler has been lengthened by around 100 millimetres, and impressive 20-inch wheels have been developed and are fitted with 255/35 ZR 20 tyres. The wheels are painted in bright 'Molten' silver, with a machined finish to the top surfaces of the spokes.
All of these body kit features are due to be made available to Kuga customers as production items in the first half of 2009.
Since the Kuga launch began in Europe during May 2008, the reaction to the vehicle from customers and the media has confirmed its success.
Ingvar Sviggum, Vice President for Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford of Europe, commented: "From the very beginning of the design and development process, we couldn't wait to get the Kuga into our dealerships. We knew that it would seriously impact the market and its segment – but it is always a pleasant surprise to find your own high expectation fully met!"
Although the introduction of the Kuga in all European markets is continuing, the car is doing very well, with around 30,000 units being produced by the end of September.
Sviggum said, "It's not just the sheer volume that is very encouraging: We are very happy to see that around 70 per cent of our customers have opted for the Titanium high series, and the premium options are also in great demand - for example, 40 per cent choosing the panoramic roof. In addition, we know that many Kuga customers are new to Ford, so that is particularly pleasing."