Ford has confirmed that a new Kuga ST-Line version of the popular mid-size sports utility vehicle (SUV) will go on sale later this year, offering sporty styling inspired by Ford Performance models, alongside powerful and efficient EcoBoost petrol and TDCi diesel engines as well as sports-tuned driving dynamics.
The new Kuga ST-Line will feature among Ford’s expanded SUV range and the most comprehensive Kuga line-up ever, including the sophisticated new Kuga and the upscale Ford Kuga Vignale, as well as the compact EcoSport and large all-new Edge.
Kuga ST-Line delivers bold exterior and interior styling including unique alloy wheels and sport seat designs; powertrains including Ford’s 134kW 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol with Ford Intelligent All Wheel Drive (AWD); and a sports chassis with specially tuned suspension and steering.
“With our sporty Kuga ST-Line joining the new Kuga and our upscale Ford Kuga Vignale, Ford will offer a Kuga for every lifestyle,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford of Europe. “We predict sales of 200 000 Ford Kuga, EcoSport and Edge SUVs in Europe this year – up by 200 per cent from 2013.”
Ford’s expanded range of SUVs in meets increasing demand among car buyers. The percentage of SUVs sold in Europe compared with total car sales has grown from six per cent in 2005 to 23 per cent in 2015. This is expected to increase to 27 percent by 2020, according to industry sales analyst IHS, fuelled by growing popularity with an unusually diverse group of buyers, according to a recent Ford survey.
The new Kuga ST-Line will offer the sportiest Kuga driving dynamics yet, with chassis enhancements including thicker anti-roll bars and a 10mm lower ride height for reduced body roll and sharper responses. Stiffer suspension bushes help to reduce unwanted movement in the suspension system, while spring and damper rates are fine-tuned to deliver comfort and performance. Ford’s Electronic Power Assisted Steering system also features a revised calibration to deliver a tighter, more responsive and sporty feel.
“Ford ST-Line models are designed to deliver a fun to drive experience, and we placed a strong focus on ensuring that Ford’s first performance-orientated SUV offered the same driving characteristics as the Fiesta ST-Line, Focus ST-Line and Mondeo ST-Line models”, said Frederick Vrancken, Kuga ST-Line vehicle dynamics engineer, Ford of Europe.
The full range of Kuga powertrains will be offered, including Ford’s 88kW 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine that replaces the outgoing 88kW 2.0-litre TDCi diesel – expected to enhance fuel efficiency to 4.4L/100km and deliver up to 115g/km CO2. Also available will be a 2.0-litre TDCi diesel engine with 110kW and either front-wheel drive or Ford Intelligent AWD, offering from 4.7L/100km and 122g/km CO2; and 132kW with Intelligent AWD homologated to 5.2L/100km and 134g/km CO2.
Ford’s 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine in 88kW or 110kW front-wheel drive form is expected to achieve from 6.2L/100km and 143g/km CO2; and a 134kW Intelligent AWD version from 7.4L/100km) and 171g/km CO2. In addition to the new Kuga ST-Line, SUV customers will later this year be able to order the stylish and sophisticated new Kuga that offers technologies and updates to make driving simpler, safer, more enjoyable and more affordable, including Ford’s SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system.
A new upscale Ford Kuga Vignale also will be offered for the first time. The production version of the meticulously crafted SUV was recently revealed in pearlescent-metallic Vignale Milano Grigio exterior colour with Cashmere leather interior trim as part of an exclusive specification.