Ford Europe has announced that it will be offering their Kuga mid-size SUV with optional sportier twist with its induction into the ST-Line, notably bringing styling tweaks by Ford Performance and a sports-tuned suspension.
Last month, Ford unveiled the Mondeo ST-Line which brought many of the changes that are being done to the Kuga. Slated to go on sale later this year, the Kuga ST-Line will most prominently feature sportier exterior styling flourishes that come courtesy of Ford Performance.
They include an upper grille finished in high-gloss black as well as a honeycomb design for the lower front grill that’s also given a shiny black treatment and 18 or 19-inch alloys in black. Its there a new front skid plate and side skirts as well as mirror caps, door handles, door cladding, rear roof spoiler and wheel arches that are finished in the chosen body colour.
In addition, the ST-Line’s interior receives a unique sports front seat design in partial leather with contrast stitching for the seats, gear lever and steering wheel as well as a centre console that’s been given a two-tone metallic layer effect they’ve called Deep Space.
Onto the actual drive, the Kuga ST-Line’s option of engines doesn’t stray from the standard model, including the 1.5-litre TDCi turbodiesel engine offering up 89kW or a more powerful 2.0-litre TDCi that outputs 135kW.
Ford’s 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engines are also available which, depending on tune, can develop between 88kW and 134kW. As before, the more expensive engine options can also be had with Intelligent AWD four-wheel drive over the standard front-wheel drive configuration.
The Kuga’s suspension has been altered with the ST-Line to make it that much sharper, adding thicker anti-roll bars, stiffer suspension bushings, revised spring and damper rates, recalibrated electronic steering, and a 10mm lower ride height.
“Ford ST-Line models are designed to deliver a fun to drive experience, and we placed a strong focus on ensuring that Ford’s first performance-orientated SUV in Europe offered the same driving characteristics as the Fiesta ST-Line, Focus ST-Line and Mondeo ST-Line models”, said Frederick Vrancken, Kuga ST-Line vehicle dynamics engineer, Ford of Europe.
Just as with the sportier Mondeo, Ford has kept rather quiet on availability details concerning the ST-Line. It is confirmed that the larger markets in Europe are due to receive it. The appeal of a sportier Ford, to our mind, resonates with buyers across continents.