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Ford has announced a new Kuga ST-Line version of its mid-size SUV. As its name suggests, this isn’t a high-performance “Kuga ST” but one that has been warmed up à la Audi’s S-line, BMW’s M-Sport and the AMG-Line from Mercedes. This is the fourth Ford to get ST-Line treatment after the Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo.

The Kuga ST-Line’s “Ford Performance-inspired styling” includes an upper grille finished in high-gloss Ebony Black; honeycomb lower front grille in the same gloss black with matching sports mesh finish on the fog lamp bezels; front skid plate, side skirts, mirror caps, door handles, door cladding, rear spoiler and wheelarches in body colour; Ebony Black rear skid plate; black roof rails; tinted front/rear lights; and privacy glass.

There’s also a black beltline beneath the windows and ST-Line exterior badging on the front fenders. A choice of unique new 18-inch gloss black alloys with a bright machined surface or 19-inch alloys in Ebony Black are available.

Inside, the ST-Line gets a unique sport seat design in part leather; contrasting stitching for the seats, gear lever gaiter and steering wheel; special two-layer metallic-effect Deep Space paint on the centre console; and a black headliner.

Chassis enhancements include thicker anti-roll bars and a 10 mm lower ride height for reduced body roll and sharper responses, Ford says. Stiffer suspension bushes help to reduce unwanted movement, while spring and damper rates have been retuned. The EPAS steering gets revised calibration for a “tighter, more responsive and sporty feel.”

The full range of Kuga powertrains will be offered, including Ford’s 120 PS 1.5L TDCi that replaces the 120 PS 2.0L diesel. Also available will be a 150 PS 2.0L TDCi with either FWD or AWD, and a 180 PS AWD version. In the petrol department, European buyers can choose from Ford’s 1.5L EcoBoost in 120 PS or 150 PS FWD form, or a 182 PS AWD variant.

Looks different from the Kuga we know? This is the facelift version that surfaced in February. Prior to this sporty variant, Ford wheeled out a Kuga Vignale luxury trim option for the SUV.

GALLERY: Ford Kuga facelift