Ford reveals 2019 Kuga plug-in hybrid 03 | 04 | 2019

    FORD HAS LIFTED the wraps from its new Kuga; the 2019 model will arrive in Scottish showrooms in December available as a trio of hybrid powertrains, including a 235.4mpg plug-in hybrid unit. (Related: 2019 Ford Focus ST gets 276bhp)

    Now 44mm wider and 89mm longer than its predecessor, the third-generation of Ford’s biggest-selling SUV has been thoroughly redesigned, and is based a completely new platform called C2.

    Ford claims the new model delivers “class-leading” space for passengers in the rear seats. And while the company has yet to confirm its the Kuga’s official boot volume, it’s understood to be significantly larger than the 406 litres in the outgoing model. (Related: Mondeo gets facelift and hybrid estate)


    The new Kuga will be available in three trim levels: Titanium, ST-Line and Vignale. LED daytime running lights, body-coloured mirrors, a front skid plate and rear diffuser, plus alloy wheels are standard across the range.

    The ST-Line adds a twin-exhaust system, roof-mounted spoiler, a gloss-black front grille and diffuser, plus 18in alloys. The range-topping Vignales gets Windsor leather seats, plus a satin chrome finish to the front grille, bumpers and roof rails.


    Eventually, the new Kuga range will consist of five powertrains: three hybrids, plus petrol and diesel units. Diesel lovers can choose between the 119bhp 1.5-litre EcoBlue and 178bhp 2.0-litre EcoBlue; both are mated to an eight-speed automatic box. The petrol choice is the 1.5-litre turbocharged EcoBoost petrol engine lifted from the Focus. It’s available as either 119bhp or 148bhp. (Related: Roadtest — Ford Focus RS)


    The first hybrid will use a 48-volt mild-hybrid system paired with Ford’s 148bhp 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel. The system allows the Kuga to recover and store energy during braking to boost its acceleration. However, it doesn’t allow the car to run on electric power only. Ford quotes figures of 56.5mpg and 132g/km CO2.


    Next up is the all-wheel-drive Kuga Hybrid. This uses a 2.5-litre petrol engine and an electric motor powered by a small lithium-ion battery. It will allow drivers to cover short distances in electric-only mode. Economy figures are listed as 50.4mpg with 130g/km CO2. It’s not due to arrive at dealers until 2020.


    The range-topper is the Kuga Plug-in Hybrid, which mates a 2.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor, driven by a 10.3kWh lithium-ion battery. According to Ford, it will develops 223bhp and should manage 235.4mpg. It should also emit just 29g/km CO2.


    “One size does not fit all, so we’ve developed a nuanced powertrain strategy for the all-new Kuga that will help customers find the right solution for their lifestyle, and also support SUV drivers by making the transition to an electrified lifestyle easy and enjoyable,” Joerg Beyer, executive director, Engineering, Ford of Europe, said. “Kuga is the first Ford vehicle to benefit from the full range of sophisticated Ford Hybrid powertrain solutions.”


    Inside the cabin, it’s essentially a Ford Focus with the popular family car’s architecture carried over. However, the Kuga is Ford’s first SUV to be available with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Entry models though make do with analogue dials.


    There’s also an eight-inch touchscreen on the dash which allows access to Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system, which is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. The Kuga also introduces FordPass Connect, which turns the SUV into a mobile hotspot, with connectivity for up to 10 devices at once.


    “We don’t believe in technology for technology’s sake,” Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe. said. “Features like our FordPass Connect on-board modem and new Lane-Keeping System with Blind Spot Assist — combined with our new Ford Hybrid range of powertrains solutions — are designed to reflect the ever-evolving ways that we use our cars, and to help the all-new Kuga slip seamlessly into our customers lives.”

    Related: Ford reveals lightweight GT

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    Jim McGill


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