Depending on the market, the new Ford Escape will be available with 1.6- and 2.0-litre EcoBoost options, making the Escape the first vehicle from Ford to offer multiple EcoBoost engines.
The new Ford Escape will be based on the Ford Vertrek Concept that was unveiled at the 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The production model will be revealed for the first time at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show in November before going on sale overseas from early next year.
The 2012 Escape is expected to hit Australian showrooms around the end of next year. It will continue to be called Escape in Australia, the US and other markets, while a number of European countries will call it Kuga.
Through its blog The Ford Story, the manufacturer says the 1.6-litre EcoBoost model will be more economical than the current Escape Hybrid under highway driving conditions.
Ford currently offers three different tunes of the 1.6- litre EcoBoost around the world, with power ranging from 110kW to 134kW, and torque peaking at 270Nm. The engines can be found in the Ford Focus, Mondeo, Volvo S60, and other vehicles.
The 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine is likely to be the 149kW/300Nm variant – the same engine currently offered in the Mondeo in Australia, and a similar construction to the four-cylinder turbocharged unit that will join the Falcon line-up from early next year.
Ford has also confirmed a 2.5-litre petrol engine will also be offered (likely to be targeted at the US market), along with a 2.0-litre TDCi diesel engine, expected to be the 120kW/340Nm unit shared with the Focus and Mondeo.
Six-speed automatic and manual transmissions will be offered throughout the Escape range.
The Vertrek Concept’s designer, Kemal Curic, revealed earlier this year that 80 per cent of his design would come to life in the 2012 Ford Escape, which means the sleek concept gives us a good idea of what to expect from the production model.
The all-new model will replace the outdated ZD Escape currently on sale in Australia. The old SUV is built on the Ford CD2/Mazda GF platform, which was used to underpin the Mazda 626 back in 1998.
The $28,990 Escape is currently the poorest selling vehicle in Ford Australia’s passenger car/SUV range. Although sales of the ageing compact SUV have increased 23 per cent this year, the Escape is labouring with just a 2.5 per cent share of its segment, less than the Suzuki Grand Vitara and the Great Wall X240.
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