Ford has high hopes for Kuga

Opening the tailgate is easier than saying 'open sesame'.
Opening the tailgate is easier than saying 'open sesame'.

Ford New Zealand has confirmed the model line-up for the all-new Kuga crossover that will launch next month.

The company, which introduced the previous generation Kuga to New Zealand last year, expects greater interest for the latest version in the ever-increasing company SUV segment.

"Ford is excited to announce a new three-tier line-up that will include an Ambiente, Trend and Titanium with either EcoBoost petrol or turbodiesel powertrains," says Ford NZ marketing manager Chris Masterson. "With a wider model spread the new Kuga range will meet a variety of preferences and needs while providing great performance throughout."

Full specifications and pricing will be announced closer to launch date, although Masterson hinted that the Kuga will be competitively priced.

It will have such smart features as the Sync connectivity, an "open sesame" hands-free powered tailgate and a 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol engine and 2-litre turbodiesel.

The Kuga will also have the Intelligent all-wheel-drive system which can assess road conditions 20 times faster than it takes to blink an eye, readjusting the system to power split to give the driver the best blend of handling and traction.

The primary goal of the AWD system at low speeds is traction; at speeds above 30 km/h the AWD system is tuned to improve driving feel, handling and responses.

A cluster display shows drivers the torque demand of each wheel at any moment. In addition to the intelligent AWD system, Ford Curve Control acts as a safeguard for drivers who have entered a bend too fast.

The system mitigates severe understeer by aggressive braking and can, if the driver is still pushing hard on the accelerator, reduce engine torque.

The Kuga scored five-star rating by both EuroNCAP and the Australian New Car Assessment Programme.

- NZ Herald

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