Ford’s new intelligent AWD helps drivers save on fuel costs

The best of both worlds
by Drei Laurel | Dec 4, 2020
PHOTO: Ford
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An all-wheel-drive (AWD) car is often associated with two things: A versatile drive and added safety. When manufacturers market an AWD vehicle, they’re always usually highlighting these two qualities as the product’s main selling points.

What a salesperson won’t highlight at the dealership, however, is the added fuel cost that comes with running on all four wheels. Well, Ford’s new intelligent AWD system is looking to change this.

The American carmaker says that the Kuga’s (probably more familiar to you as the Escape) AWD system doesn’t just provide more traction and a safer driver, it also helps minimize fuel costs, too.

“All-wheel drive isn’t just for heading off-road—the extra traction can make journeys smoother, safer and less stressful for drivers, particularly in wintry conditions,” Glen Goold, Kuga chief program engineer says in a statement.

“We designed our new Kuga Hybrid to help drivers save on fuel costs, and the artificial intelligence of AWD disconnect means they can do exactly that while still getting all the benefits of Intelligent All-Wheel Drive.”

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According to Ford, this tech allows Kuga owners to save as much as 6.5% on fuel costs. How does it work? Well, it’s called Intelligent AWD for a reason. It uses algorithms to determine when and where sending power to the rear wheels is necessary or not. Basically, it turns the Kuga into a front-wheel-drive car when the added traction from the rear wheels isn’t needed. Ford calls this ‘AWD disconnect,’ and the company says it’s always ready to switch AWD back on when necessary.

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Interesting stuff. If technology like this continues to advance further, who knows how much we’ll be saving in fuel costs in the future. Anyone else wish all AWD vehicles came equipped with something like this?

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PHOTO: Ford
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