What a day! A really early morning, an aeroplane, a rainbow, a sexy car, getting lost, wine, another aeroplane…
Wait. Let me start at the beginning.
A few weeks ago, the people from Ford invited me to attend the launch of the new Ford Kuga, so at 4h30 last Monday morning I woke up and got ready to leave the house earlier than I have in years! I should have taken the Gautrain, but it was nice to have my Glugster drive me to ORT and kiss me goodbye just as the sun was coming up. Since all I had with me was my handbag and my camera I went straight to the self-check-in to get my boarding pass and headed for the gate. It was a pleasure! I waited about 20 minutes for the boarding call and once I sat down I was all but falling asleep in my window seat! I did think it was funny that the BA flight attendants looked SO bored when they were doing the whole safety talk thing… I get that they’ve done it a million times but can’t they at least fake a small smile? LOL! The Woollies breakfast was pretty good, and then I fell asleep! Bliss! I wasn’t fast asleep though, and every now and then I’d look out my window to the most beautiful layers of clouds, and then as we turned back over the ocean to land at Cape Town International there was the most BEAUTIFUL rainbow! All the colours were so very bright it was quite exquisite! Coming home later I was a bit baffled by Cape Town International’s self-check-in procedure. I went through the steps on the machine and I then had to queue at the check-in desk to get my boarding pass! There they checked my ID and I headed for the gate – and they checked my ID again! Why!? What is the point of the self-check-in!? Ugh. Bygones. I was hoping to sleep on the flight home but I was on the aisle and I couldn’t settle in, and then I got “lost” at ORT and ended up waiting at the drop-off for my Glugster… AND my phone’s battery was flat so I couldn’t phone him to tell him where I was! Luckily he worked it out for me and he and Volt- who he had looked after for the day- picked me up and we headed home. Volt was good as gold on his 90 minute car trip too!
But let me get back to my trip.
When I landed in Cape Town I was met by some familiar faces from Ford, and once the rest of us met up just outside arrivals we walked to a conference centre to await the rest of the day’s guests and the presentation. There was quite a spread let me tell you, and even though I wasn’t actually hungry I put away a few sweet pastries and a whole lot of fruit kebabs! And I got to chat to some awesome ladies from publications like Marie Claire and Good Housekeeping! We were almost all girls too, so the conversation was animated to say the least… 😛
Then it was presentation time and Ford’s Product Communications Manager, Lloyd Marlowe, welcomed us and introduced us to Jeff Nemeth, Ford’s President and CEO. Jeff told us a bit about what Ford has been up to, including the news that the all new Ford Focus ST is coming this year, and that the locally manufactured Ford Ranger is exported to 148 countries! They are also bringing out the EcoBoost engine which is just one of the things contributing to Ford’s growth. Next to chat to us was VP of Marketing and Sales, Dean Stonely, and he told us about the car we were there to drive, the Kuga. Its Ford’s entry into the highly competitive medium SUV market. And then we heard from Gavin Golightly on Ford’s brand pillars- providing “Quality” from design to ownership, being “Green” by providing fuel efficiency without sacrificing power, ensuring “Safety” by providing both accident avoidance and protection, and being “Smart” by making their cars appealing to techies and regular drivers. The Kuga has a target market of married, educated, family men and women. Its a good looking car in that its athletic rather than aggressive, and it’s functional with intelligent all wheel drive. It has two derivatives- the Trend and the Titanium, both sporting Ford’s distinctive double grill and a full leather interior. It gets 10.3L/100km with a 2.5L 5 cylinder engine.
After we signed in and had our drivers licences checked, I partnered up with Gugu (I think she is from True Love?) and we were handed a crossword puzzle, a Samsung Galaxy Tab and the car keys. We were to use the Galaxy Tab’s reader to navigate our route with the booklets loaded on it, find the clues and some of the answers to the crossword, and take photos of the car. Unfortunately, neither Gugu or I were on top of our game and we got lost – TWICE! LOL! We eventually got to Hidden Valley Wines so late that we were the last to arrive and we very nearly had to miss out on lunch in order to drive the Kugas back to the airport in time for our flights! Gugu and I didn’t complete our tasks either- taking photos of the car and finishing the crossword- but I don’t think we were the only ones… 😛 After a divine lunch at Hidden Valley, we drove the Kugas back to the airport to make our way home again, with a gawjiss thank you gift from Ford of a bottle of red wine, a bottle of white wine and a bottle of olive oil from Hidden Valley!
The Kuga is simply fabulous to drive and this SUV has a LOT of appeal to me as a woman! The tailgate can be opened in two parts- the window and the whole door- and there’s a handle on the inside to pull it closed! There are storage spaces under back seats as well as under the floor behind the front seats, it has pull out trays for the back seat, and the back seats fold 100% flat faster than you can fold a pram! Its comfortable, its air conditioned, the driver seat is six-way adjustable at the touch of a few buttons, and just about everything can be controlled from the steering wheel! For a geek like me its very tempting to just sit and play with the car’s gadgets all day! The Kuga has the ‘Ford Power’ start button, rain sensing windscreen wipers, auto headlamps, auto dimming rear view mirror and cruise control to name but a few! It has voice control for the radio, the air conditioner and your phone (which you connect to the car with Bluetooth), it has a trip computer and super sexy twin exhausts! Well, I think twin exhausts are sexy… The only thing that might put me off the Titanium model is the panoramic roof since I’m not a huge fan of heat and sunshine. It does make the car feel HUGE inside which is great for road trips, and thankfully it has a retractable screen that I used to block out some of the sun.
And now, for your viewing pleasure, here are some photos. Some are mine and some are the official photos of the Kuga.