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First Look: 2013 Ford Escape

From boxy to beautiful?

by on Nov.16, 2011

The 2012 Ford Escape migrates to a more rounded, crossover design.

Beauty is clearly in the eyes of the beholder, and seldom is that more true than in the automotive market, where fiery debates can break out over even the smallest design details.

So expect some fierce disputes when the subject turns to the new 2013 Ford Escape, which is making its debut at the L.A. Auto Show this week.  Following in the tread marks of the bigger Ford Explorer, the new Escape is migrating from its traditionally boxy, truck-like shape to a more lithe, car-like silhouette that Ford hopes will move it to the center of the fast-growing compact crossover segment.

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That transformation could prove particularly well-timed as Ford has grabbed the top spot in the small ute niche – taking advantage of the production cuts suffered by long-term segment leader the Honda CR-V due to the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan last March.  Honda is rushing to get its plants back up to speed as it rolls out a replacement for its own “cute-ute,” which had led the market since its 1996 launch.


Ford Dropping Escape Hybrid and Adding EcoBoost

Maker claims new 1.6-liter EcoBoost will outperform old hybrid - and deliver better mileage.

by on Oct.05, 2011

The redesigned Ford Escape will no longer offer a hybrid package - but will have two available EcoBoost options.

Ford will drop the Escape Hybrid when it launches an all-new version of its popular utility vehicle next year, turning to a high-mileage alternative using a new 1.6-liter version of its EcoBoost engine family.

The Escape Hybrid, though heralded as the first use of gas-electric technology in an SUV, has been selling at a sluggish rate in recent years.  So, Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president of Global Product Development, says the hybrid powertrain will be shifted to a newer people-mover in the Ford line-up, the upcoming C-Max Hybrid, that should be 25% more fuel-efficient than the outgoing Escape Hybrid.

The next-generation Escape, which will migrate to a more crossover-like design and platform, will be officially unveiled at the LA Auto Show next month.  It will come with a 4-cyliner EcoBoost engine rather than a V6 engine, Ford confirmed during a background session.

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“Customers are prioritizing fuel economy above every other trait when they make most vehicle purchases,” said Kuzak. “Ford is meeting people’s needs by offering a family of fuel-efficient vehicles – from hybrids to electrics to traditional gasoline-powered cars – packed with class-leading technology, giving customers both exciting and greener driving choices.”