The new Kuga/Escape is coming

Friday, 20 January 2012 From Issue Vol. XX No. 3 By  Dr. Iain Corness

In November last year, Ford revealed to the public a preview of what will become the new Ford Escape.  Shown in concept form and called the Vertrek.

The design confirmation is one of a series of details Ford has released over the past month about the reborn Escape (known in some markets as the Kuga), which is built off the same C-segment small-car platform as the new-generation Focus.

Ford Vertrek concept.Ford Vertrek concept.

The production model’s silhouette has the same sleek profile with short front and rear overhangs and arched roofline as the Vertrek.  The engines most likely to be used include three four-cylinder petrol engine options, namely 1.6 liter and 2.0 liter EcoBoost engines and a 2.5-litre Ti-VCT unit with twin independent variable camshaft timing.

Ford claims that the two EcoBoost variants, both of which feature turbocharging, direct injection and Ti-VCT, deliver class-leading fuel economy and performance.  Specific details are still to be divulged, but Ford routinely claims that EcoBoost increases fuel economy by up to 20 percent while reducing CO2 emissions up to 15 percent.

The company also says the 1.6 liter engine - which is already available on the Focus and related C-Max people-mover in Europe and was fitted to the Vertrek concept, complete with fuel-saving idle-stop and regenerative braking technologies - will deliver even better highway fuel economy than the current US Escape Hybrid, which is US EPA-rated at 31 mpg (7.6 L/100 km).

“Expanding the availability of EcoBoost technology in the all-new Ford Escape will give customers a great range of choices for the fuel efficiency and performance they want in a small SUV,” said Ford Motor Co vice-president of powertrain engineering, Joe Bakaj.  “This advanced technology in the new Escape delivers on our commitment to provide class-leading fuel efficiency in every new Ford product.”

There is also an upgraded 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi turbo-diesel engine used in Europe that should also be available here, delivering a claimed seven percent reduction in CO2 emissions over the current unit, while six-speed automatic and manual transmissions will be offered across the range.

Longer and wider but lower than the outgoing Escape, the Vertrek’s “sleek, modern design”, as Ford describes it, still manages a generous cargo volume, with 828 liters available behind the back row or 1879 liters when the rear seats are folded.

Last modified on Friday, 20 January 2012 11:34
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