This self-charging full-Hybrid Kuga model is only available with the combination of a 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine assisted by an electric motor, this confection delivering a combined output of 200PS. The motor is powered by a tiny 1.1kWh liquid cooled battery, which is replenished by both the engine and the energy recovered under braking. The car will sprint to 62mph from rest in an acceptable 9.1 seconds in what Ford describes as a "smooth and linear response to acceleration", partly in thanks to its power-split auto gearbox. Simulating gear-shift functions, this transmission is designed to adjust the ratios for optimum performance and fuel efficiency and will adjust the engine's rpm as the speed changes to reduce the "rubber band" effect commonly associated with CVT transmissions.
This simulated gearshift function is available in 'Normal' and 'Sport' driving modes, and, according to the car's chief programme engineer, Glen Goold, gives a "more engaging drive with the familiarity of traditional 'cog swaps', plus the added benefit of limiting engine noise." On the subject of noise, the car also features a 'Silent Key Start' feature, enabling it to pull away from standstill in pure electric mode, which is ideal for those early morning starts, or in the cut and thrust of stop-start driving.
This Kuga Hybrid is available with the choice of either front-wheel drive or Ford's 'Intelligent All-Wheel Drive' set-up. In normal running, this AWD system will disconnect power being sent to the rear in order to increase fuel efficiency. Sensors detect any wheel slip, and will divert the required power to the ones with the most grip, even up to 100% to the rear if needed.