The all-new Ford Kuga escapes
Ford will launch the brand new Kuga at the Los Angeles Auto Show today. The SUV, called the Escape in the US, is the latest of Ford's global product strategy. The Kuga and Escape were two entirely separate cars before in the US and Europe markets; now, taking some inspiration from the Spice Girls, two become one.
And staying with that comparison, it looks a bit gobby, right? The addition of a number plate will probably alleviate that, though. As it happens, the relatively small area assigned for a plate that you see in the picture above gives this Kuga away as the American version.
Our Kuga will pounce at the Geneva Motor Show in March, and will be negligibly different to this Escape; Ford UK says it will have "unique powertrains and features," by which it means "a couple more diesel engines and smaller cup holders," probably.
The new Kuga, which will also be sold in China from late 2012, just after going on sale in the UK and US, is bigger and better quality than its predecessor, says Ford.
The information we're getting today is US-centric, naturally, but it's clear already that the new Kuga will be a great deal more advanced than today's car.
All Ford's latest technology is stuffed into the small SUV, including the MyKey nanny, MyFord Touch (voice and touch screen activated commands), an automatic tailgate that's activated by the swipe of a foot (useful when hands are full), automatic parallel parking and a blind spot information system.
The Kuga also has Curve Control, an innovation that automatically slows the car down when it's going around a corner too quickly. The first Mercedes A-Class could have done with that.
Strangely, the Kuga also has a way of helping the driver go around a corner faster, called Torque Vectoring Control. You *will* take corners at exactly the speed Ford wants you to.
An 'intelligent' four-wheel drive system scans the road and the driver inputs, adjusting the torque to each wheel accordingly to make sure the car both grips to the maximum and steers predictably.
The new Ford Kuga goes on sale in the middle of 2012 here, likely from around £22,000.