FORD KUGA SMART TECHNOLOGY







Published by Gerald Ferreira Date: November 21, 2011
Categories: Ford, Ford Kuga

  • The Kuga features a wide range of modern driver assistance technologies
  • High level of standard equipment makes the Kuga a great value-for-money proposition
  • State-of-the-art manufacturing processes ensure the Kuga offers a refined driving experience.

PRETORIA, South Africa, 21 Nov., 2011 – The Ford Kuga offers customers an extensive array of standard technology with premium levels of quality and substantial visual and equipment differentiation.

Ford Kuga

The Kuga offers a comprehensive and impressive standard equipment list which includes:

  • 'Ford Power' start button
  • Trip computer
  • Full leather upholstery
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Leather trimmed gear shifter knob (Available only on the Titanium)
  • Cruise control
  • Rain sensing windscreen wipers
  • Auto headlamps
  • Fog lamps
  • Rear view mirror with auto dimming
  • Front and rear power windows with one touch up/down functionality
  • Global open/close
  • Power, heated and body colour door mirrors
  • Two-zone Dual Electronic Automatic Temperature Control (DEATC) air conditioning (Available only on the Titanium)
  • Privacy glass
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Twin exhausts
  • ISOFIX attachments
  • Removable tonneau cover
  • A range of standard electronic driver assistance technologies including ABS with EBD, EBA and  Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) withTraction Control System (TCS) and Anti-Rollover Mitigation.

Ford Kuga Inside

CAVE

In order to optimise the driving environment, Ford specialists developed the Kuga using a Computer Aided Virtual Engineering (CAVE) system. The CAVE combines a number of computers and digital projectors to create a virtual, full-sized interior of a car. A real car seat is fixed to the rig for the 'driver' who can then evaluate all-round visibility and comfort levels for reach and operation of controls.

This system proved invaluable in customer clinics to gauge reaction to the new car and provided a platform for aspiring Kuga drivers to voice their opinions as the new model took shape. It also enabled the development team to make fast and efficient changes to a virtual representation of their designs.

The CAVE system is a good example of the many cost-effective measures that were introduced to benefit key areas of the car's development – with added benefits for the finished product and ultimately for customer satisfaction.

Ford Kuga Side View

'Ford Power' Start Button (Keyless Start) and Remote Keyless Entry

The 'Ford Power' start button for easy, keyless vehicle activation is a standard feature on the new Kuga.

Centrally and conveniently located in the instrument panel the 'Ford Power' start button gives an impressive activation time of less than 500 milliseconds. Instead of a conventional ignition key, the driver is provided with an electronic key fob which simply needs to be detected by the system when in, for example, the driver's pocket, for fast and convenient vehicle activation. The Kuga communicates wirelessly with a micro-chip in the key fob to activate the ignition system.

To start the engine, the driver depresses the clutch pedal and then pushes the button to fire the engine. A further push of the button switches the engine and ignition off, with a safeguard to prevent it being operated while the car is in motion. The entertainment and vehicle systems such as the wipers can be activated without starting the engine by pushing the button alone.

Ford Kuga Boot Space

The 'Ford Power' button is also used to switch off the engine. Once again, the engineers were keen to build in a more complex sequence to rule out the possibility of the button being briefly pushed or brushed against inadvertently. The 'Ford Power' button needs to be pressed and held for two seconds or to receive three short presses in a two-second timeframe in order to stop the engine.

Ford Easyfuel Capless Refuelling System

Kuga comes with Ford's award-winning Easyfuel capless refuelling system as standard equipment.

The Ford Easyfuel system is simple and easy to use, and is designed to help prevent vehicle mis-fuelling and the associated damage, inconvenience and expense.

The use of mechanical devices around the nozzle opening and a special flap at the top of the fuel filler neck operate together to seal the opening and provide the same assurance that the system is as secure as when a properly fitted separate cap is used on conventional filling systems.

Ford Kuga Rear View

The Ford Easyfuel system has been extensively tested in all crash impact modes including the standard 80 km/h rear impact followed by a rollover to confirm the safety of the system.
The Ford Easyfuel system drastically reduces the possibility of the Kuga being mis-fuelled.

In-car Entertainment and Infotainment features

The Kuga offers a comprehensive array of in-car entertainment and infotainment features and systems. The eight-speaker Sony Audio System is further enhanced with Bluetooth® voice control and connectivity for iPod and USB mass storage devices which can be connected to the separate AUX-in socket located in the centre console.

The Bluetooth® handsfree and Voice Control System enables voice control for a mobile phone, audio system and Dual Electronic Automatic Temperature Control DEATC system. Features include direct access to the phone book memory through the audio system and voice controlled dialing for safer handsfree calling. A facility for a USB memory stick and AUX connector to be used in the car, allows for MP3 files and music players to play through the system.

Panoramic Roof and Privacy Glass (Available on the Titanium)

At 1,050 mm x 785 mm the glass area of the panoramic Kuga roof is one of the largest in the segment. Two manual sunblinds are also fitted for those occasions when shade is desired. In addition, the roof glass has a special infra-red (IR) coating that has proven during internal tests to reduce reflection by 35 per cent, as opposed to five per cent for non-IR glass.

Often the domain of vehicles in the large and luxury or premium segment, green tinted privacy glass availability for the Kuga provides a touch of exclusivity and individuality. Standard equipment on the Titanium, it adds a premium feel to the cool modernity of this model.

Build Quality

The Kuga is built with lasting quality, expressing craftsmanship and precision. The attention to detail is evident in all aspects of the car and extends to more than the chrome finish details, the harmony of colours, trims and materials and the precision of the craftsmanship.

Further highlights of the Kuga's high build quality include:

  • A unique door mirror design which also improves Sound Quality &Vibration (SQ&V) by creating airspace between the mirror and door
  • A premium-style centre stack and centre console fully painted or foiled
  • Premium execution on window and mirror switches
  • Extra-durable door seals to prevent water seepage when wading

The inclusion of plastic front fenders on the Kuga are a key factor in keeping the car's weight to a minimum. Proven to be up to 50 percent lighter than steel, they are also resistant to minor knocks and avoid expensive sheet metal repairs. Component weight reduction also contributes to reduced emissions through improved fuel economy.

Developed for Best Sound Quality and Vibration (SQ&V) Performance

The Kuga has been built to give an exceptional driving experience in all regards. Significant efforts were made to reduce noise levels and improve the perceived sound quality inside the car to match the overall refinement.

Low sound pressure levels and the source harmony for engine, road and wind contributions support the quality of the interior ambience. The Kuga provides stress-free, relaxed driving through low noise levels which enables easy communication inside the vehicle and optimum use of the internal audio equipment up to high speeds. This was achieved by detailed analytical preparation using state-of-the-art CAE tools, time spent in highly sophisticated SQ&V test facilities and a high number of test kilometres on test tracks and public roads.

Enhanced Powertrain SQ&V
Designing a premium powertrain sound quality was a key area of attention in the development phase of the Kuga. One important goal was to achieve a high level of sound refinement through the range that included low to medium engine speeds and also while cruising. At the same time a positive sound feedback from the engine during accelerating manoeuvres was accomplished and the necessary level of aural feedback has been achieved during off-road driving.

Features incorporated to meet this objective include:

  • Air intake and exhaust tuning: The design of the exhaust and the air intake systems has been refined in powertrain SQ&V test cells to meet the interior noise sound quality targets. Shell surface stiffnesses has been optimised, internal absorption and resonators have been developed and utilised
  • Engine mount isolation: All engine mounts underwent a rigorous development program to improve the structure borne noise isolation in all frequency areas under all load conditions
  • Attention to detail: The level of detail given to maximise the SQ&V characteristics extends to the secondary noise paths, such as cables, hoses and ducts. For example,  noise transmission through the gear shifter cables has been eradicated and power assisted steering and air conditioning lines have been tuned to avoid unwanted noises

Road Noise Optimisation
The main focus of road noise development was to achieve low levels on all road surfaces while retaining necessary aural feedback while off-road. This includes a smooth noise and vibration behaviour over smooth or rough roads as well as over impacts. A good balance between high frequency and low frequency road noise contributes to the Kuga's excellent driving experience.

Reduced Wind Noise

Reduction of wind noise is a result of detailed engineering and development. Details on the Kuga include an optimised A-pillar shape, while door mirror design, the flush execution of the door seals and the concealed wiper arms and blades all make their own contribution to reducing wind noise.

Another key target was to minimise the transmission of noise from the car's surface area into the passenger compartment. In order to achieve this, particular attention was given to door design. Improvements included making the door glass 3.85 mm thick and introducing an additional seal between the door and body.

Environmental Commitment

Sustainability plays a key role in Ford Motor Company's global business. The development and integration of a sustainability management system encompasses the pursuit of improved air quality and fuel efficiency. Together with built in recoverability at the time they have completed their useable life.

Ford Motor Company is committed to socially and environmentally responsible manufacturing. Each manufacturing plant has a workforce dedicated to the task of analysing the use of energy and resources to identify and adopt changes to working practice and policy to make improvements.

The Kuga, manufactured in Europe, complies with legal requirements, covered by the European End of Life Vehicle Directive. Covering recycling opportunities, the Directive also includes initiatives that impose boundaries on the materials used in vehicle production. For example, heavy metal restrictions are imposed on the use of lead, mercury, hexavalent chromium and cadmium. However, Ford has gone beyond this; Ford cars were the first to receive the German TÜV organisation's allergy-tested interior certificate and achieved the British Allergy Foundation's Seal of Approval.

A number of materials introduced by Ford of Europe to the Ford Kuga are further evidence of the company's commitment to embracing new materials and ensuring that, in theory, the materials can be used ad infinitum.

A recycling process for the Kuga's unique front wings which are moulded from resin has already been proven. Kuga energy absorbers moulded with Xenoy iQ PC/PBT resin can utilise post-consumer PET bottle scrap as a feed-stock. This uses less energy and emits less CO2 than conventional plastic manufacturing or recycling processes.

Use of modern materials such as those used in the Kuga front wings contributes to reduced overall vehicle weight reduction. This translates directly to improved fuel economy and reduced CO2 emissions.

New components unique to the Kuga are made of recycled materials – the pedestrian safety energy absorber behind the front bumper skin, for example, is made out of recycled PET bottles.