It may have a different name for the European market but the new Ford Kuga that will debut tomorrow at the Geneva Auto Salon and the 2013 Ford Escape that came to life at last year's LA Auto Show are one and the same as Ford continues to consolidate its global model series.
The styling differences between the two models are limited to the clear turning signals up front, while the European customers also get a choice of diesel engines.
Ford says that the second generation of the Kuga, which is based on the latest Focus, is more spacious, dynamic and capable than the model it replaces.
The new Kuga features 442 liters of boot space, a significant increase of 82 liters over the outgoing model, while it also gets rear seats that fold flat at the touch of a button and a hands-free automatic tailgate.
Other highlights include Ford's new in-car connectivity system SYNC and a range of available driver assistance technologies such as the parallel parking aid Active Park Assist, and sensor-based Blind Spot Information System, which indicates via a warning light in the door mirror that a potential hazard is in the driver’s blind spot.
The Blue Oval's crossover model will be offered with a latest generation all-wheel drive system as well as the firm's new Torque Vectoring Control (TVC) system that promises to improve handling.
The Kuga will launch in Europe towards the of 2012 – early 2013 (depending on the country) and will be available with a 2.0-liter TDCi diesel engine in two states of tune, with 140PS (138hp) or 163PS (161hp) linked to a standard manual or an optional automatic, and a 1.6-liter EcoBoost turbocharged petrol unit.