Ford Kuga gets new look and updated powertrain for Paris Motor Show

Ford Kuga gets new look and updated powertrain for Paris Motor Show

United States residents will have to wait until 2010 for the Ford Kuga crossover to make its appearance, but Europeans have already had the car for most of the current year. Now Ford has decided to give the Kuga a range of premium appearance options and a turbo petrol engine, and will be using next week’s Paris Motor Show to debut the new additions.

The current lineup includes both FWD and Haldex AWD models, powered by a 136hp (100kW) 2.0L Duratorq TDCi diesel churning out a maximum 340Nm of torque from just 2,000rpm thanks to its overboost function. The new powertrain will feature a five-cylinder 2.5L turbocharged Duratec petrol engine rated for 197hp (147kW) and 236lb-ft (320Nm) of torque. While fuel efficiency won't be as impressive as the diesel's 44.1mpg US (5.3L/100km), it will still register 23.8mpg (9.9L/100km) and 234g/km CO2 when equipped with the manual transmission in the combined cycle while offering better top-end performance. Top speed is limited to 130mph (208km/h).

Transmission choices for the new turbo petrol engine include a standard six-speed manual and an optional five-speed automatic with selectable manual and sport modes. Choosing the automatic drops fuel efficiency to 22.8mpg US (10.3L/100km) and increases CO2 output to 244g/km.

Styling is enhanced to match the new, more powerful engine inside. The interior will be available with a new Ford Individual treatment, following the Mondeo, S-Max, Galaxy and the new Fiesta. Ford is working hard to position the Kuga as a premium-level vehicle in Europe and the UK, and these upgrades are targeted to help achieve that goal. Some of the Ford Individual touches include all-new color schemes including a glossy 'Piano White' finish, premium quality materials like Nappa leather and contrasting textures.

Exterior enhancements include an all-new 'Ice White' body color and a new body kit that takes cues from the Kuga preview vehicle and iosis X concept. The grille in particular features a unique vertical bar design and massive chrome-accented intakes and scoops. Body-colored wheel-arch extensions, a 100mm-longer rear spoiler, side skirts, 20in alloy wheels and all-new bumpers that sit 50mm lower than the originals complete the look.

The appearance updates through the Ford Individual program will be available starting in the first half of 2009.