Crossovers and trucks the vehicle leaders for Ford
Ford predicts that crossovers and trucks will make up 86 percent of it’s production in a couple of years. In preparation, the company is discontinuing most of its sedans, and increasing the number of trucks, utility vehicles and crossovers on offer.
The mid-size Ranger has joined the truck line, and will reportedly be followed by a new small truck. The Bronco name will be resurrected within a year, for a new sport ute. The Expedition and Explorer have recently undergone serious makeovers. A new Escape is in the wings, to be followed by a Lincoln version called the Corsair.
One of five Ford SUVS and crossovers with a name starting with “E”, the Escape is the company’s second best-seller, after the F150. The Escape first appeared for the 2001 model year. A hybrid version came along in 2005, and the third generation came to market for 2013. To date, Ford has sold more than 4.5 million Escapes in North America.
Ford showed the 2020 Escape early this month, with simultaneous reveals in Dearborn and Europe where it will be called the Kuga.
The 2020 Escape will arrive at dealers this fall in S, SE, SE Sport, SEL and Titanium trim levels. Initial units will roll on 17, 18 or 19-inch wheels off the Kentucky assembly line with two different gasoline engines, and front or all-wheel-drive. A pair of hybrids will follow next spring, including a plug-in version.
The fourth generation Escape is based on the global C2 small car platform, which made its debut beneath the current European Fiesta.
The new Escape has a trapezoidal grill similar to that on the Mustang. It will be longer, wider, lower and almost 100 kilos lighter. An updated suspension, improved aerodynamics, new drivetrains and a totallynew interior are the highlights.
The base model will have an all-new 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine projected to produce 180-horsepower. Standard on S, SE and SEL models, it is expected produce 180 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque on premium fuel, slightly less with regular. This engine will feature cylinder deactivation, which can shut off one cylinder under low or no-load conditions. Ford says it can activate or deactivate a cylinder in 14 milliseconds.
At the other end, the Titanium version will be available with a 250-horsepower 2.0-litre turbo four. All-wheel-drive will be available on all but the plugin hybrid. Gasoline engines will be paired with a new eight-speed automatic, the hybrids with a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission).
The SE Sport and Titanium versions will be available with the fourth generation of Ford’s hybrid system. The setup includes an all-new 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle engine is projected to put a combined output of 198 horsepower, and go up to 140 km/hr under electric power alone. The liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack can be recharged in 10-11 hours from a 110-volt outlet and in 3.5 from a Level 2, 240-volt source.
The new suspension is mated to an isolated rear subframe said to reduce NVH (Noise, Vibration & harshness). A selectable drive mode system will be standard on all models. It will include settings for normal, eco, sport and slippery, plus snow and sand conditions.
The second-row seats in gasoline engine models will slide fore/aft through a 15-cm range for best-in-class rear seat, or cargo space. This feature will not be available on the hybrid versions because of the location of the briefcase-sized battery pack. Head, shoulder and hip room are all increased in the new Escape.
Available features will include the ability to park in a parallel or perpendicular location at the touch of a button, without touching the steering wheel, gear shift, gas or brake pedals. A new Evasive Steering Assist system can help the driver avoid an imminent collision. Other driver-assist features include adaptive cruise control with Stop-and-go and LaneCentering. A 4G LTE Wi-fi hot spot for up to 10 mobile devices will also be available. Fordpass Connect will let drivers use their smartphone to lock, unlock, locate and start the vehicle.
The 2020 Ford Escape joins the ranks of new vehicles including a mid-size Ranger and a resurrected Bronco.
The base model will have an all-new 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine projected to produce 180-horsepower.