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Ford shifts redesigned Escape to all four-cylinder-engine lineup

Tue, 04 Oct 2011

Serious changes are in store for the Ford Escape SUV when the redesigned model rolls out at the Los Angeles auto show in November.

To start, the boxy look is gone. Ford previewed the 2013 Escape's new look earlier this year with the Vertrek concept at the Detroit auto show.

And big things are happening under the new Escape's hood. Ford says the 2013 Escape will have a lineup of three four-cylinder engines--no more V6 option, and the hybrid powertrain is shifting to the new C-Max wagon.

The engine lineup is:

-- A 1.6-liter EcoBoost, rated at 175 hp, makes its U.S. debut in the Escape. The engine has been a popular choice for Ford Focus and C-Max buyers in Europe. Ford expects this engine to match the 31-mpg highway rating of the current Escape hybrid.

-- A 2.0-liter EcoBoost. Ford uses a similar engine in the 2012 Edge, rated at 240 hp. A 250-hp version will show up in the Focus ST. EcoBoost is Ford's branding for engines that combine turbocharging and direct fuel injection to increase the output of smaller-displacement engines.

-- A 2.5-liter normally aspirated engine with variable valve timing. An engine of this size is the base unit for the Ford Fusion sedan.

Ford product development chief Derrick Kuzak says the 1.6-liter EcoBoost is just one piece of a larger puzzle focused on improved fuel economy. He said Ford set a blueprint four years ago detailing how it would improve fuel economy over a 20-year span.

Fans of the Escape hybrid shouldn't despair. Ford says the next-generation hybrid powertrain developed for the C-Max gets 25 percent better fuel economy than the current Escape hybrid. The C-Max hybrid goes on sale in 2012.

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