The popular Ford Escape SUV has been redesigned and will be unveiled in November at the Auto Show in Los Angeles. Details about the newly redesigned third generation version of the Escape are making news because the biggest change on the horizon is the elimination of the hybrid version. Ford has announced that the Escape hybrid will not be available in 2013.
Ford has not left the spot unoccupied; two different versions of the carmaker’s EcoBoost turbocharged gas engine will be used in models that Ford is hoping will compete nicely in the category. One is a 2.0 liter which will perform just as well as other V6 models, while exceeding them in fuel efficiency. The other model is reportedly a 1.6 liter model that will outperform the current Escape Hybrid in highway fuel economy. The new Escape’s style is based on the Ford Verterk concept, which was revealed last January in Detroit at the American International Auto Show.
The Escape Hybrid was the first hybrid model to be made in the United States, with powertrain components and technology purchased from Toyota. It was first introduced in 2004 and became increasingly popular with buyers. Just four years ago, 21,386 Escape Hybrids were sold, but purchases of the model have steadily declined in recent years. Last year just over 100,000 units were sold.
The C-Max Hybrid and the C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid minivan models will fill the void left by the Escape Hybrid in Ford’s upcoming lineup and will be available for purchase in 2012. The C-Max hybrid boasts a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency over the Escape Hybrid. The new Escape model and the C-Max will both be manufactured using Ford’s new C-car platform. Using the same platform for crossovers, SUV’s and sedans allows the automaker to share components between differing models, which is an economical way to ensure the versatility of the Ford lineup.
Even though the new lineup is varied and provides prospective buyers with multi-powertrain C-car options including green cars and models with exceptional fuel efficiency, the absence of the Escape Hybrid will leave Ford without an all-wheel drive hybrid designed for families in its model lineup.
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