2008 Ford Kuga: 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show Introduction
Ford of Europe Set for a Stylish SUV Next Spring
Early buzz about this September’s Frankfurt auto show is bouncing along the airwaves and internet streams, including Ford of Europe’s announcement that they will introduce a new small SUV at the show. The production model follows the 2006 Paris auto show reveal of the iosis-X concept, and this illustration shows the Kuga takes clearly the iosis-X personality.
If the sketch is anything to go by, this will be another Ford of Europe product that American enthusiasts will complain that we don’t get, nevermind that they would refuse to pay the pricing these European products would require if they were brought over comparably equipped and built. The Kuga will go on sale in Europe in spring 2008, taking on Volkswagen’s Tiguan where ever both are sold.
The choice of Kuga name is interesting. An internet search of the word turns up results as a city in Japan, a Japanese Anime character Natsuki Kuga, and as a word for the plague. Dictionary.com results show kuga as a Slovenian word for plague, while a 2004 Dover Publications translation and publication of Jacob Grimm’s 1844 Teutonic Mythology III included a chapter on various mythology surrounded the spread of sickness and plague that discusses the use of the word kuga for a woman in white veil who spread sickness. The word comes up as meaning the black plague at http://bs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuga as well. To American eyes, Kuga looks like a lazy pronunciation of cougar, but its short snappy form also reminds us of the name of a European Ford coupe, the Puma. Ford, on their part, has yet to give any explanation of the inspiration for the new SUV’s name.
Ford has not yet released specifications on the Kuga, nor did they for the iosis X concept, but you can read here the first Kuga press release below and browse our photos of the iosis X. Kuga will take the basic forms of the iosis-X’s face, though it gets a more useful four-door setup, conventional side-view mirrors, a lowered stance, and looks like it adds vents at the rear of the front quarter panels, too.
Ford Kuga: A Stylish, All-New Addition To The Ford Range For 2008
COLOGNE, July 19, 2007 – Ford of Europe’s model range will have an all-new addition early in 2008 – The Ford Kuga. A preview model of the production vehicle will be presented to the press and public at the 2007 IAA Frankfurt Motor Show, which opens on September 13.
“With the launch of the Ford Kuga, we will keep the promise that we gave at the Paris Motor Show 2006: to develop a stylish new model based on the stunning Ford iosis X concept car in less than two years,” said John Fleming, President and CEO, Ford of Europe.
Ford’s European Design team has applied its exciting ‘kinetic design’ form language to introduce a compact and distinctive new 4×4 crossover to the Ford portfolio.
“We recognised that image-conscious customers for this kind of vehicle want a very individual car in which impressive on-road capability blends seamlessly with substantial off-road ability,” said Martin Smith, Executive Design Director for Ford of Europe.
“Kuga will stand out from the crowd by offering the visual excitement of ‘kinetic design’ and the on-road driving quality that customers of cars like the Ford Focus, the S-MAX and the new Mondeo have come to expect from us,” added Smith.
The Ford design team is also releasing its first official styling sketch of the new model.
“Kuga is adventurous and distinctive, and we wanted to highlight this in our first official image,” Stefan Lamm, Ford’s Chief Designer for Exteriors, commented. “We believe that there is a role for a more athletic and charismatic vehicle that marks a departure from the norm, in the same way that the award-winning Ford S-MAX carved out new territory for an MPV.”
The all-new Ford Kuga will go into production early in 2008 at Ford’s Saarlouis plant in Germany. It will be launched across Europe from Spring 2008.
“I’m really excited that we are adding the Ford Kuga to our growing product range in Europe,” said Fleming. “It represents the continuation of our design-led commitment to add emotion and desirability to our cars and we expect it to bring even more new customers to the blue oval brand as we continue our product-led transformation towards sustained business success.”