Ford’s newest sport utility vehicle unveiled as the Ford Escape in Los Angeles today, is destined for the US and Europe next year. Its European equivalent, the Ford Kuga, will be shown in Geneva in March and will offer unique powertrains and features.
“We call our all-new Ford Escape the ‘Smarter Utility Vehicle’ because it offers the strengths that customers today really value – fuel economy, versatility and new technology that makes driving and living with the vehicle easier and more fun – all wrapped in a sleek, more modern design,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. “Ford understands that more people every year are looking at vehicles like Escape, and we want to give them even more reasons to buy.”
In addition to more cargo volume behind the first and second rows than today’s vehicle, the new Escape delivers:
- Eleven features no other small SUV offers
- Clever technologies including an available hands-free power liftgate that allows quick and easy access to cargo with the kick of a foot
- Projected best fuel economy of any US compact SUV, up to five mpg better than the previous Escape
- Driving dynamics that make the drive experience more engaging on-road and a new Ford Intelligent 4WD system that provides better traction off-road
- Sleek new design, with better interior materials and finishing touches
Escape technology makes life better
An array of clever technologies adds to the new Escape’s versatility, helping make life easier for its owners. Key features include:
- An available hands-free power liftgate brings new technology to the SUV market and is enabled by motion technology used in today’s video game systems. A gentle kicking motion under the centre of the rear bumper activates, unlocks and raises the liftgate when the driver has the Escape key fob. This allows quick and easy access to the cargo area. The same process closes the hatch
- SYNC® with MyFord Touch® offers multiple ways for customers to manage and control information through voice commands, menus accessed through controls on the steering wheel, touch screens, buttons or knobs
- Parallel parking the Escape is virtually stress-free with active park assist. With the press of a button, the system detects an available parallel parking space and automatically steers the vehicle into the space. Drivers control only the accelerator and brake pedals
- Escape’s sensor-based BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System) with cross-traffic alert, triggers a warning sound when a vehicle is detected entering a blind spot
- The all-new Ford Escape is the first Ford SUV to combine class-exclusive technology to automatically slow the vehicle when it’s cornering too fast (Curve Control) or help accelerate through a turn (Torque Vectoring Control); a new Intelligent 4WD System helps deliver outstanding handling on pristine pavement and in adverse conditions as well, along with excellent traction off-road
Spirited performance with outstanding fuel economy
In the US, Escape offers Ford’s broadest nameplate range of EcoBoost® engine choices yet. Strong fuel economy comes from either the available 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine or 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine. The European Ford Kuga powertrain line-up will be announced closer to launch.
Aiding fuel economy is Escape’s sleeker design. The new model is nearly 10 per cent more aerodynamic than the outgoing model.
Plus, the new Escape’s active grille shutter system, which is on all models with the 1.6-litre EcoBoost and 2.5-litre four-cylinder engines, reduces wind resistance. Grille slats stay open when extra engine cooling air is required, such as low-speed stop-and-go driving. When cruising on the highway at steady speeds, the grille slats automatically close to improve aerodynamics and fuel efficiency.
Versatility and capability come standard
Stowing and towing are even easier in the new five-passenger Escape, thanks to a low liftover height of 27in, more innovations and cargo volume that surpasses the outgoing Escape – with 68.1 cubic feet of space behind the first row and 34.3 cubic feet behind the second row.
The new Escape’s rear seats have been designed to fold flat easily. With the touch of a button, the head restraint folds down and with the lift of a handle on the seat, the seatback folds and dives as the seat folds flat and clicks into position.
Escape also features an available two-position load floor, which can be configured to allow the customer to choose among maximum luggage volume or flat load floor.
Engaging driving performance through seamless system
Using new advanced software and sensors, the new Intelligent 4WD system analyses data from 25 external signals, including wheel speed, accelerator pedal position and steering wheel angle, assessing road conditions and driver input 20 times faster than the blink of an eye.
The system uses all the sensor inputs to turn the vehicle in the direction the driver wants it to go. Intelligent 4WD builds on the pre-emptive actions by adding and subtracting torque as needed through an electromagnetic clutch.
New SUV goes global
Following its world debut in Los Angeles, this new vehicle will head to Europe, where sales of compact sport utilities have grown 200 per cent since 2000. It will be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March for European customers as the all-new version of the Ford Kuga and will have unique powertrains and features. Chinese customers also will see the all-new Kuga next spring.
“This all-new Ford model opens a new chapter in the world of SUVs,” Kuzak said. “By being smarter, this utility vehicle will help customers around the globe find better, easier ways to connect with technology, maximize fuel efficiency and find the versatility and capability they need and want.”