- Kuga ST-Line ‘has bold styling, sporty driving dynamics’
- Joins Ford Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo ST-Line
- Stylish car, powerful and efficient engines
BRENTWOOD, England – Ford in the UK has announced a Kuga ST-Line version of its mid-size sports utility vehicle to reach showrooms there later in 2016.
The automaker says the car will take on the persona of other models “inspired by Ford Performance” with EcoBoost petrol and turbodiesel engines and sports-tuned driving dynamics.
The UK Kuga ST-Line will include the upscale Ford Kuga Vignale and the compact EcoSport and large all-new Edge.
Among the Kuga ST-Line’s features will be specific alloy wheel rims and sport seats, Ford’s 136kW 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine with all-wheel drive and a sport chassis with tuned suspension and steering.
Roelant de Waard, Ford Europe’s vice-president for marketing, sales and service, told The Corner: “With our sporty Kuga ST-Line joining the new Kuga and our upscale Ford Kuga Vignale, Ford will offer a Kuga for every lifestyle.
“We predict sales of 200 000 Ford Kuga, EcoSport and Edge SUV’s in Europe this year – double that of 2013.”
Ford South Africa, asked by The Corner about local sales, replied: “Sorry, we have no time lines yet.”
Ford, reporting data from sales analyst IHS, says the percentage of SUV units sold in Europe among total car sales has grown from six percent in 2005 to 23% in 2015 and is expected to increase to 27% by 2020 with their popularity growing popularity across “an unusually diverse group of buyers”.
A Ford-sponsored survey of 5000 people in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain who own a car or intend to buy one in the next 12 months has, the automaker says, shown than nearly a third of what Ford calls “Modern Mums” are considering an SUV for their next car, as are 25% of Millennials (17- to 34-year-olds) and 20% of “Quintastics” (active and youthful buyers in their fifties).
Marketing exercise over, here’s what Ford UK says the Kuga ST-Line will deliver…
Frederick Vrancken, Ford Europe’s Kuga ST-Line vehicle dynamics engineer, told The Corner: “They’re designed to deliver a fun-to-drive experience. We focused strongly on ensuring that Ford’s first performance-orientated SUV in Europe would offer the same driving characteristics as the Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo ST-Line models.”
- Upper grille finished in gloss black, its lower section honeycombed; body-colour front skid plate, skirts, mirror caps, door releases, door cladding, rear roof spoiler and wheel arches; gloss black roof rails; tinted front and tail lights; privacy glass.
- Black beltline beneath the windows and ST-Line exterior badging on the front fenders.
- Gloss black 18″ black or bright machined 19″ alloy wheel rims.
- Part-leather, stitched, sport seats and gearshifter, gear lever gaiter and steering wheel.
- Two-layer metallic-effect paint on the centre console; black headlining.
- Driving dynamics enhancements that use thicker anti-roll bars and a ride height lowered by 10mm to reduce body roll and evoke sharper responses.
- Stiffer suspension bushes to reduce unwanted movement in the suspension; spring and shock-absorber rates tuned to deliver comfort and performance.
- Electric power-assistance for the steering, its calibration designed to deliver a tighter, more responsive, and sporty feel.
The full range (in the UK) of Kuga power trains will be offered, including:
- A 90kW 1.5-litre TDCi turbodiesel to replace the outgoing two-litre TDCi. and capable of fuel consumption as low as 4.23 lires/100km.
- A 112kW or 125kW two-litre TDCi feeding either front or all-wheel .
- A 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine (90kW or 112kW) with front-wheel drive or 136kW with all-wheel drive.
Buyers in Europe will also be able to order a stylish and sophisticated new Kuga that has technologies and updates to make driving simpler, safer, more enjoyable and more affordable and Ford’s SYNC 3 communication and entertainment system.
A new upscale Ford Kuga Vignale also will be in showrooms for the first time – the production version of the meticulously crafted SUV recently revealed in pearlescent-metallic Vignale Milano Grigio exterior colour with leather upholster and an exclusive specification.
Fiesta ST-Line (for guidance only in SA) will be priced from the equivalent of about R290 000.