Ford has revealed the 2020 Escape; the small SUV will make its first public appearance at the New York International Auto Show. Escape, which debuted the world’s first hybrid SUV in 2005, brings back two hybrid choices for 2020—a standard hybrid and a plug-in variant—and introduces technologies ranging from drive modes and driver-assist features to electric vehicle ingenuity and on-board connectivity.
Every model in the new Escape lineup, whether powered by one of two EcoBoost engines or the new hybrid powertrains, targets an EPA-estimated range of at least 400 miles per tank. The standard hybrid with front-wheel drive targets best-in-class EPA-estimated range of more than 550 miles. (Final EPA-estimated ratings will be available later in this year.)
Gasoline engine-powered models as well as the standard hybrid are available with all-wheel drive. EcoBoost-equipped models get a new quick-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission for smooth, responsive shifting, while every Escape receives an all-new suspension and improved isolation with a new isolated rear subframe.
The new 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine, available on Titanium, is projected to produce 250 horsepower and 275 lb-ft (373 N·m) of torque using 93 octane fuel, while turning in a 0-60 mph time up to 10% faster than the outgoing Escape 2.0-liter. When properly configured, it is rated to tow 3,500 pounds.
The all-new 1.5-liter EcoBoost, standard on S, SE and SEL, is projected to produce 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft (240 N·m) of torque using 93 octane fuel. When properly configured, it is rated to tow 2,000 pounds.
To help conserve fuel, the 1.5-liter EcoBoost debuts cylinder deactivation, a Ford first for North America, which senses when one cylinder isn’t needed and shuts it down automatically. The system can activate or deactivate a cylinder in 14 milliseconds to maintain a smooth ride.
SE Sport and Titanium models come standard with Ford’s fourth-generation hybrid propulsion system, which includes an all-new 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle hybrid engine and electronic continuously variable transmission. The front-wheel-drive hybrid model is projected to produce a combined system horsepower of 198, and a top speed of 85 mph in electric-only mode.
The plug-in hybrid variant, available on every trim level except S and SE Sport, projects a best-in-class EPA-estimated range of at least 30 miles in electric-only mode.
Escape Plug-In Hybrid has a Level 1 / Level 2 AC charging port. Using a 110-volt Level 1 charge, the estimated time to fully charge the battery is 10 to 11 hours. Using a 240-volt Level 2 charge, charge time drops to roughly 3.5 hours.
Hybrid models feature four EV modes that allow customers to select the settings most suitable for their individual needs. This means:
In Auto EV mode, the vehicle decides whether to run on gas or electric power.
In EV Now mode, drivers can operate on all-electric driving.
In EV Later mode, drivers can switch to full gas-powered driving to conserve electric miles for later.
In all-new EV Charge mode, drivers can continue to charge the battery while driving and generate electric-only miles to use later.
The all-new Escape Hybrid packages its liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery below the second-row seats rather than occupying a significant portion of the cargo area. The briefcase-shaped battery in the standard hybrid measures approximately one-third the size of the old Escape Hybrid battery.
Despite a slight drop in vehicle height and with the hybrid battery packaged below, the engineering team was able to increase headroom throughout. First- and second-row headroom, shoulder room and hip room all improve versus the current Escape.
Titanium models are available with an all-new heads-up display, a first-for-Ford in North America. The feature that projects information onto a 6-inch screen, giving drivers easy access to important information such as vehicle speed without taking their eyes off the road.
Class-exclusive driver-assist technologies include available Active Park Assist 2.0 and Evasive Steering Assist. Active Park Assist 2.0 allows the driver to park in a parallel or perpendicular spot with the touch of a button, without having to work the steering wheel, gear shifter, gas or brake pedal. Evasive Steering Assist detects a slower-moving or stationary vehicle ahead and provides steering support that can assist the driver to avoid an imminent collision.
Escape comes standard with Ford Co-Pilot360, and makes available other driver-assist features such as Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Lane-Centering.
FordPass Connect is a standard feature that provides 4G LTE Wi-Fi for up to 10 mobile devices with compatible wireless subscription service. FordPass Connect also gives drivers remote access to their Escape, allowing them to use their smartphone to lock, unlock, locate and start the vehicle, as well as monitor key vehicle diagnostics.
Drivers and passengers can keep compatible mobile devices charged with an available wireless charging pad in the front center console. Also available are type A and type C USB charging ports as well as three 12-volt charging sockets.
An 8-inch touch screen—standard on SE models and above—shares information with the available 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster, which displays important vehicle information such as speedometer and fuel level. It uses 3D animated graphics to indicate the drive mode.
Available SYNC 3 is compatible with available features such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Ford+Alexa and Waze navigation. For music lovers, Escape offers an available 575-watt 10-speaker B&O Sound System by Bang & Olufsen.
The all-new Escape, available in S, SE, SE Sport, SEL and Titanium series trim levels, is built at Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky. Vehicles are due to reach showrooms this fall. Plug-in hybrid units are due to arrive next spring.
History of Escape. Escape debuted on North American roads for the 2001 model year; in its first full year on sale, Escape became America’s best-selling small SUV.
For the 2005 model year, Ford became the first US manufacturer to offer a hybrid when it introduced the Escape Hybrid, the world’s first-ever hybrid SUV. Between 2004 and 2012, 114,000 Escape Hybrids were sold.
For the 2013 model year, Ford introduced a third-generation Escape, with European styling shared with its global cousin, Kuga. To date, Ford has sold more than 4.5 million Escapes in North America; more than 98% of them are still on the road today. Escape is the company’s second best-selling vehicle in the United States, trailing only F-Series.