VALENCIA, SPAIN – Ford has begun volume production of the all-new Ford Kuga SUV at its assembly plant in Valencia, Spain, with deliveries to dealerships across Europe to follow soon.

Ford noted that the new Kuga offers segment-first technology including hands-free tailgate; class-leading handling with Ford’s new global intelligent all-wheel drive system, and enhanced Torque Vectoring Control; and introduces Ford EcoBoost petrol engine technology to the European SUV market.

Ford has sold more than 300,000 Kugas since launching the first generation model in Europe in 2008, according to the automaker. New Kuga heralds the start of Ford’s delivery of a comprehensive SUV lineup in Europe. It will be followed by the arrival of the modern and innovative EcoSport, Ford’s entry into the small SUV segment, and the Edge – a larger, more premium crossover that has been a success in North America and other markets.

The company said it plans to leverage its historic leadership in SUVs in North America and other regions around the world to quickly expand its line-up in Europe; and has said it expects to sell more than one million SUVs in Europe in the next six years with SUVs accounting for 10 percent of all Fords sold in the region by 2016.

The New Kuga offers a choice of 150 PS and 180 PS 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol engines, and 140 PS and 163 PS 2.0-litre TDCi Duratorq diesel engines. AWD models are available with Ford’s PowerShift transmission; and all engine variants achieve CO2 emissions of less than 180 g/km.

A range of driver assistance technologies, including the parallel parking aid Active Park Assist, and sensor-based Blind Spot Information System, which indicates with a warning light in the door mirror that a potential hazard is in the driver’s blind spot, will also be available.

The all-new Kuga features 82-litres more boot-space than the current model, while the rear seats fold flat at the touch of a button.

The smart Kuga AWD system pre-emptively reassesses conditions 20 times faster than it takes to blink an eye, readjusting the AWD power split to give the driver the best blend of handling and traction, according to the automaker. Dynamics and cornering control are improved by the introduction of the Torque Vectoring Control system first found on the new Focus.

Ford’s advanced voice control, device integration and connectivity interface, SYNC, also will be available from launch. It will include emergency assistance, which upon detecting airbag deployment or activation of the emergency fuel shut-off within the car, uses the on board GPS locator and Bluetooth-paired device to set up an emergency call and provide GPS co-ordinates, in the local language, for the emergency response.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet