Sunday 29 November 2020

New Kuga Hybrid SUV Powers into Production

Ford has further expanded its unprecedented line-up of electrified all-new Kuga SUVs with the new Ford Kuga Hybrid – able to deliver 1,000 km 1 of petrol-electric and pure-electric driving between fill-ups and without ever having to plug in to recharge.

Effortless to own, the self-charging Kuga Hybrid’s 1.1 kWh battery is automatically replenished both by the 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine and using regenerative charging when coasting or braking. Stored energy powers an electric motor to enhance performance, support petrol engine fuel efficiency, or deliver pure-electric driving. Kuga Hybrid automatically switches seamlessly between power configurations according to the driving scenario.

The new model’s sophisticated full hybrid powertrain is unique in the Ford Kuga line-up – delivering the ultimate efficiency and refinement of pure-electric power with no need to charge from an external power source, alongside the diesel-rivalling convenience of 1,000 km total driving range.

Kuga Hybrid is also the first Kuga to combine an electrified powertrain with the option of Ford’s sophisticated Intelligent All-Wheel Drive 2 technology depending on market, for an optimised driving experience. Both front-wheel drive and Intelligent All-Wheel Drive variants enhance the fun-to-drive, 190 PS character using a simulated gear-shift function for the power-split transmission. The technology is designed to emulate the familiar gear-changes of a conventional automatic transmission for greater driver engagement.

“Each of our electrified Kuga models brings a unique set of benefits. For our new Kuga Hybrid that includes fuel efficiency and driving range to rival diesel, the extra confidence offered by Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, and the effortless refinement of charging cable-free, pure-electric driving,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales & Service, Ford of Europe. “Ford is committed to offering a choice of electrified vehicles so that every customer can find the perfect solution to fit seamlessly into their life. No model demonstrates that better than Kuga”.

One of 17 Ford electrified vehicles to be introduced for customers in Europe before the end next year, production of the new Kuga Hybrid is now underway at the company’s manufacturing plant in Valencia, Spain. Kuga Hybrid’s advanced lithium-ion battery packs are also assembled at the Valencia plant following a €24 million investment in a new state-of-the-art battery assembly facility to support Ford’s electrification strategy in Europe.

Kuga Hybrid completes the most electrified line-up for a single nameplate ever offered by Ford, and joins Kuga Plug-In Hybrid and EcoBlue Hybrid 48-volt mild hybrid variants, alongside traditional petrol and diesel engines for a comprehensive range of powertrain options.

Kuga practicality, Hybrid flexibility
The new Ford Kuga was developed from the ground up to incorporate a petrol-electric full hybrid powertrain, using efficient packaging to maximise SUV spaciousness and practicality, and support driving refinement.

Silent key start capability enables the Kuga Hybrid to pull away from a standstill using electric power alone for a truly relaxing driving experience, particularly in city and stop-start driving scenarios. The full-hybrid powertrain supports pure-electric driving for short periods while eliminating range anxiety.

The ability to travel 1,000 km on a single tank of fuel makes Kuga Hybrid a compelling alternative to diesel powertrains. Delivering fuel efficiency from 5.4 l/100 km and CO2 emissions from 125 g/km WLTP (5.1 l/100 km and 118 g/km CO2 NEDC) 3 alongside a 54-litre fuel tank, Kuga Hybrid total driving range is also more than 30 per cent greater than that of the Kuga Plug-In Hybrid, which offers a greater pure-electric driving range of up to 56 kilometres WLTP (72 km NEDC). 3

With no need for customers to use an external power source to charge the battery, Kuga Hybrid offers an attractive choice for customers desiring an electrified powertrain, but who have limited access to external charging solutions at home or places of work – as well as drivers desiring both electrification and Intelligent All-Wheel Drive.

The 60-cell, 1.1 kWh battery pack uses a liquid cooling system that eliminates the need for a cooling fan, helping reduce noise levels for greater cabin refinement. Optimised cooling also allows battery cells to be packaged closely together – helping retain spacious interior dimensions including more than 1 metre of headroom for front row occupants and up to 1,481 litres of cargo space behind the front seats. 4

In addition, an exhaust gas heat exchanger system helps bring the engine more quickly to its most efficient operating temperature, enabling Kuga Hybrid to engage pure-electric driving sooner following a cold start and helping quickly warm the cabin for passenger comfort. Enhanced battery performance also contributes to towing capacity of up to 1,600 kg for the front-wheel drive variant. 5

The Kuga Hybrid powertrain delivers a smooth, linear response to acceleration demand while automatically switching between pure-electric, hybrid and petrol power, supported by a redesigned motor-generator controller. The latest generation of Ford’s power-split transmission is designed specifically to work with the 2.5-litre petrol engine – seamlessly adjusting ratios for optimum performance and fuel efficiency across a range of driving conditions. Zero-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration takes 9.1 seconds for the front-wheel drive variant.

The simulated gear-shift function – activated in Normal or Sport drive modes – automatically adjusts engine rpm as the vehicle’s speed changes to reduce the “rubber band” effect often associated with continuously-variable transmissions.

“We’ve listened hard to customers to make sure the Kuga Hybrid really delivers when it comes to driving appeal,” said Glen Goold, Kuga chief programme engineer. “The simulated gear-shift function makes the SUV more engaging to drive with the familiarity of traditional ‘cog swaps’, plus the added benefit of limiting engine noise.”

Kuga Hybrid is also available with Ford Intelligent All-Wheel Drive depending on market, which measures how the car’s wheels are gripping the road surface and can adjust torque delivery between the front and rear for a more secure footing on the road. The technology has minimal impact on fuel efficiency, and an all-wheel drive disconnect feature further supports optimised fuel efficiency by automatically reverting to front-wheel drive in favourable driving conditions.

More relaxing journeys
Kuga Hybrid is available to order in a comprehensive line-up of variants including Trend, Titanium, Titanium X, ST Line, ST Line X and Vignale, offering a wide range of driver assistance, comfort and convenience technologies.

A standard FordPass Connect modem 6 allows drivers to plan faster, less stressful journeys with Live Traffic updates for the navigation system and enables a range of features for a more convenient ownership experience via the FordPass mobile app, including Door Lock Unlock, Remote Start 7 and Vehicle Locator.

A wireless charging pad is also standard, and further sophisticated optional features include Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system 8 supported by an 8‑inch central touchscreen, and a premium B&O sound system.

Available driver assistance technologies designed to deliver greater confidence, make driving less demanding and enhance safety include Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane Centring 2 for effortlessly negotiating stop-start and highway traffic. Active Park Assist 2 2 enables fully automated parking manoeuvres at the push of a button.

New Lane-Keeping System with Blind Spot Assist 2 makes its global debut on Kuga. The optional technology monitors the driver’s blind spot for vehicles approaching from behind and can apply counter-steering to warn the driver and discourage a lane change manoeuvre if a potential collision is detected.

Also making its global debut on the new Ford Kuga, optional Intersection Assist 2 technology monitors for potential collisions with oncoming vehicles in parallel lanes and can automatically apply the brakes to help prevent or mitigate the effects of accidents in scenarios where a driver is turning across traffic.

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