Revealed: Ford unveil new Ford Escape SUV, plug-in hybrid confirmed for NZ
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Ford's currently on a bit of a shopping spree, refreshing and rejuvenating their SUV line-up. Most recently the 7-seater Everest and streetwise Endura got makeovers, and now overnight they've revealed the new-look 2020 Escape.
The mid-size SUV borrows plenty of styling cues from the newly launched Ford Focus, from its pointier face, softer eyes, and bigger mouth to a cabin with a similar dashboard layout.
It might not be immediately noticeable, but the new Escape is actually all-new compared to the old one. It's Ford's first SUV built on the C2 platform, which debuted underneath the aforementioned Focus. But that doesn't mean the Escape has shrunk ... rather, it's now 44mm longer overall with a 20mm longer wheelbase compared to the outgoing model — while simultaneously shedding 90kg of weight.
Apart from the new platform, the most important set of changes in the new Escape lie under the bonnet.
Ford have confirmed a new plug-in hybrid powetrain, featuring a 2.5-litre four-pot petrol engine with a 14.4kWh battery pack. Combined, it's a package that will make 165kW of power, with a claimed pure electric range of over 50km.
This is the first powertrain that's been confirmed for New Zealand, making the Escape the first Ford SUV offered here with a plug-in hybrid option. It will be available in either front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.
“Ford has a strong global strategy in electrification and hybrid technology, and we’re proud to bring our first hybrid SUV to New Zealand customers in such an advanced, capable vehicle as the all-new Escape,” says Ford Australia and New Zealand CEO Kay Hart.
“We know our customers love technology, many of whom are often early adopters, so the combination of user-friendly hybrid technology with a practical, stylish and capable SUV is a significant step for us towards meeting these demands."
There are other engine options too, in the form of a self-charging hybrid variant based around the same 2.5-litre engine, plus a mild-hybrid EcoBlue 2.0-litre diesel featuring a 48v lithium-ion battery.
Naturally, there's also a more traditional 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol that's good for 88kW, and two diesels; an 88kW 1.5-litre and a 140kW 2.0-litre.
But it's yet to confirmed what mix of these engines is going to join the plug-in hybrid in New Zealand. As you'd expect, pricing and range hasn't been announced either — although it seems likely that we'll get the baseline Trend, sportier ST-Line, and range-topping Titanium models.
On top of borrowing interior quirks from its little-brother Focus, the new Escape's interior is also roomier than before. The larger wheelbase and wider body allow for 13mm more headroom in the front and 35mm more headroom in the back, while hip and shoulder room grow by 57mm and 43mm in the front, and 20mm and 36mm in the rear respectively. Naturally, Ford also claim best-in-class rear leg-room.
The additional lick of space is supported inside by a fully digital 12.3-inch cluster, and an 8-inch touchscreen SYNC 3 infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. There's also wireless charging and a Bang & Olufson audio system available.
While price and line-up hasn't been confirmed, Ford has said that it will land here in early 2020. Keep a look out for our full coverage.