Ford Motor Co. is pushing ahead with the overhaul of its product line with the unveiling of the 2020 Ford Escape, which is scheduled to reach showrooms next fall with a new range of powertrains including a new hybrid.
“This all-new Escape brings a sleeker, sportier design with the capability to take you on just about any of your life’s adventures,” said Kumar Galhotra, Ford’s president, North America.
“With our class-leading hybrid powertrains, customers will spend less time at the gas station and more time on the road,” he added during the press preview at the Greenfield Village museum, which is located close to the company’s headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan.
Ford has sold more than 4 million Escapes since its introduction in 2001 and it is now the second best-selling vehicle in the Ford line-up behind the ever-popular F-Series pickup truck. The new version of the Escape will be built in multiple plants and sold in markets around the world, Ford executives also noted.
(Ford teases all-new Escape before New York debut. Click Here for the story.)
The current version of the Ford Escape is looking dated in a segment that continues to attract new entries from around the world. There were exactly six entries in the compact crossover segment when Escape made its debut. Now there are 22 and the number is expected to grow to 30 in short order, Galhotra said.
As part of the effort to create a new look for Escape, designers turned to some of the most popular sports cars in the Ford showroom. The shield-shaped trapezoidal grille is inspired by the sixth-generation Mustang, while the lower front end borrows from Ford GT.
Compared with the current model, the all-new Escape stands lower, wider and longer, noted Hau Thai-Tang, Ford executive vice president of Product Development and Purchasing.
With a sloped roofline, optimized liftgate spoiler and efficient underbody, the all-new Escape is the most aerodynamic to date. Meanwhile, it sheds more than 200 pounds from the current model, due in part to the extensive use of high-strength, lightweight steel.
Ford rolled out the world’s first hybrid SUV in 2005, Ford is preparing to offer standard Escape hybrid and a plug-in variant, and introduces technologies ranging from drive modes and driver-assist features to electric vehicle ingenuity and on-board connectivity.
The all-new Escape Hybrid packages its liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery smartly below the second-row seats rather than occupying a significant portion of the cargo area. The briefcase-shaped battery in the standard hybrid measures approximately one-third the size of the old Escape Hybrid battery.
Despite a slight drop in vehicle height and with the hybrid battery packaged below, the engineering team was able to increase headroom throughout. First- and second-row headroom, shoulder room and hip room all improve versus the current Escape.
New powertrains and transmission systems, a reduction in weight, improved aerodynamics and updated suspension system all contribute to insure the new Escape is fun to drive, Ford engineers said.
(Click Here for more about Lincoln teasing the launch of new Corsair.)
Gas engine-powered models as well as the standard hybrid are available with all-wheel drive. EcoBoost-equipped models get a new 8-speed automatic transmission for smooth, responsive shifting, while every Escape receives an all-new suspension and improved isolation with a new isolated rear subframe.
“This new vehicle performs like no other Escape before,” said Jim Hughes, Escape chief program engineer. “It’s quick, it’s responsive and, in staying true to the standard set by three generations of Escapes before it, it’s a heck of a lot of fun to drive.”
The new 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine, available on Titanium, is projected to produce 250 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque using 93 octane fuel, while turning in a 0-60 mph time up to 10% faster than the outgoing Escape 2.0-liter. When properly configured, it is rated to tow 3,500 pounds.
The all-new 1.5-liter EcoBoost, standard on S, SE and SEL, is projected to produce 180 hp and 177 lb.-ft. of torque using 93 octane fuel.
Sliding second-row seats in gas engine-powered models allow rear-seat passengers to enjoy best-in-class maximum second-row legroom with the seats in the full rearward position, plus increased knee clearance and footwell length for a more comfortable ride.
A selectable drive mode system standard across the line-up makes it easy for owners to create the ride experience they desire – or the one that conditions demand. Modes are tailored for normal, eco, sport and slippery, plus snow and sand conditions.
Titanium models are available with an all-new heads-up display, a first-for-Ford in North America. The feature that projects information onto a 6-inch screen, giving drivers easy access to important information such as vehicle speed without taking their eyes off the road.
Escape comes standard with Ford Co-Pilot360, and makes available other driver-assist features such as Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Lane-Centering. FordPass Connect is a standard feature that provides 4G LTE Wi-Fi for up to 10 mobile devices with compatible wireless subscription service
An 8-inch touch screen – standard on SE models and above – shares information with the available 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster, which displays important vehicle information such as speedometer and fuel level. It uses 3D animated graphics to indicate the drive mode.
(For more on the all-electric Mustang/CUV, Click Here.)
The all-new Escape, available in S, SE, SE Sport, SEL and Titanium series trim levels, is built at Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky. Vehicles are due to reach showrooms this fall. Plug-in hybrid units are due to arrive next spring.