“Globally, Ford has been at the forefront of SUVs for decades, and is now delivering a European line-up that offers the stylish design, car‑like dynamics and fuel efficiency that are key to why SUVs have become so popular in Europe,” said Jim Farley, chairman and CEO of Ford of Europe. “As demand for SUVs continues to grow, so will the range that Ford offers – from rugged models with true go-anywhere ability to sporty models designed to suit urban lifestyles.”
In addition, Ford will enhance the popular Kuga model later this year – including offering new colours and adding Ford’s SYNC 2 connectivity technology with an 8-inch colour touchscreen. Ford is also preparing to launch a significantly enhanced version of the EcoSport compact SUV, which includes offering a version without the spare wheel on the rear tailgate along with improved interior refinement, better performance and sharper driving dynamics.
AWD gains traction
Ford is also rapidly expanding its line-up of vehicles equipped with AWD technologies, which continue to grow in popularity in Europe. With the launch of Edge and the all-new Focus RS performance hatchback early next year, Ford will offer AWD or four-wheel drive (4WD) on eight models – about 50 per cent of its line-up – compared with three models in 2012.
Ford expects sales of its AWD-equipped vehicles in Europe to grow from 46,000 vehicles in 2014 to 70,000 in 2016 – a 50 per cent increase.
“Ford is offering customers the right all-wheel-drive technology for their vehicles and their lives,” said Joe Bakaj, vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe. “Our Intelligent AWD assesses road conditions multiple times a second and delivers additional grip exactly when and where it is needed. The Ford Performance AWD system in the new Focus RS enables thrilling cornering and handling at the limit. The Ford Ranger rugged 4WD system can handle heavy work and rough terrain.”