The new Ford Escape, being showcased at the Los Angeles Auto Show, is the first Ford vehicle to make Auto Start-Stop standard with either of two EcoBoost engines new to the model—a 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter twin-scroll.
The start-stop technology senses when the vehicle is sitting idle and shuts off the engine to conserve fuel, resulting in a 4 percent to 6 percent improvement in fuel economy in stop-and-go traffic. The engine restarts automatically—in less than half a second—when the driver releases the brake pedal.
Escape SE and Titanium trim levels come standard with the new 1.5-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost, while the powerful new twin-scroll 2.0-liter EcoBoost is optional. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard across the line, with new paddle-shift technology available for Escape SE and Titanium.
The twin-scroll turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost delivers 245 horsepower and 275 lb-ft (373 N·m) of torque, along with greater efficiency and improved noise, vibration and harshness performance. New pistons provide a higher, more efficient compression ratio, and a newly designed, integrated exhaust manifold is optimized for the twin-scroll turbo system.
The aluminum-block, twin-cam 1.5-liter EcoBoost with integrated exhaust manifold is projected to deliver horsepower and torque output comparable to the 1.6-liter—an expected 180 horsepower and 185 lb-ft (251 N·m) of torque.
Along with the new EcoBoost offerings, the 2.5-liter i-VCT four-cylinder engine carries over as standard equipment for the Escape S series.
The new Escape is also the first Ford vehicle in the world with available SYNC Connect, allowing users to unlock doors, check fuel level and even locate where a vehicle is parked.
SYNC Connect, available with SYNC 3 for the new Escape, comes with complimentary activation for five years. A user enables the system through a two-step authentication process designed to protect personal information. SYNC 3 features faster performance, conversational voice recognition, intuitive smartphone-like touch screen and easier-to-understand graphical interface.
To help drivers feel more confident behind the wheel, driver-assist technologies available for the new Escape include adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake support, a lane-keeping system and enhanced active park assist.
Adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake support : Sensors detect when Escape is approaching a slow-moving vehicle, and adjust cruise control accordingly.
Enhanced active park assist: Provides steering assistance to park the vehicle in a parallel or reverse perpendicular parking spot, and pull out from tight parallel parking spots; driver controls brake, accelerator and shifter. Technology includes side park distance control.
Lane-keeping system: The system includes lane-keeping alert, which alerts drivers when they drift unintentionally from their lane, and lane-keeping aid, which provides steering assistance to guide an unintentionally drifting vehicle back into its lane.
Driver Alert System: Using data from the lane-keeping system, the Driver Alert System can detect signs of fatigued driving and provide a warning on the instrument cluster.
Already available driver-assist features for the new Escape include:
Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert: BLIS can alert drivers when a vehicle enters the defined blind spot in a neighboring lane. An indicator light provides a warning in the side mirror corresponding to the side on which the vehicle is approaching.
Hill-start assist: The feature holds the vehicle stationary on a hill long enough for the driver to transition from brake to gas pedal.
Auto high-beam control: System automatically switches from high to low beams, and vice versa, depending on ambient lighting.
Hands-free, foot-activated liftgate: Opens liftgate with the simple kick of a key fob-carrying customer’s foot beneath rear bumper.
Overall SUV sales continue to trend higher—both in North America and around the world. SUVs now account for about one third of the US auto industry, a number Ford projects will grow to 40% by 2020. In the United States, SUV sales are expected to exceed 5 million units in 2015 for the first time.
Small SUVs play an increasingly larger role, and Escape remains one of the most popular. Since its launch in 2000, more than 3 million units have been sold in the United States, including a record 306,212 Escape vehicles in North America in 2014. Ford expects Escape sales this year will exceed that figure.