Ford has yet to unveil the all-new 2013 Escape, but the automaker did provide a sneak peak at what engines will be offered in its next-generation small SUV.
Although the current Escape (shown below) is available with a 3.0-liter V-6, the new 2013 Escape (shown above as the Vertrek concept from the 2011 Detroit Auto Show) will ditch the six-cylinder option in favor of a wide range of four-cylinder options. Presently, Ford says base models will receive a 2.5-liter I-4 carried over from the current model, which is rated at 171 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque. From there, buyers can upgrade to one of two EcoBoost – i.e. direct-injection, turbocharged – engine offerings.
The first is a turbocharged 1.6-liter I-4, currently offered in the European Focus and C-Max model ranges. Rated at 180 hp and 170 pound-feet of torque, the new engine isn’t much more powerful than the base 2.5-liter I-4, but the engine is expected to deliver an improvement in fuel economy. In fact, Ford says the 1.6-liter EcoBoosted Escape will deliver more than 31 mpg on the EPA’s highway test cycle – if that's true, it would trump today’s Escape Hybrid.
Customers seeking more power will likely opt for the 2.0-liter EcoBoost I-4, which is also offered in the Edge and Explorer crossover ranges. Ford has refrained from providing any figures for the new engine, but in Explorer tune, the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine produces 240 hp and 270lb-ft of torque. If so, that matches the outgoing 3.0-liter V-6’s power while besting its torque figure by 47 lb-ft. Fuel economy figures have yet to be provided, but expect a mild improvement over the current Escape V-6 model.
Ford says the new four-cylinder lineup – particularly the EcoBoost offerings -- will deliver vastly improved gas mileage for the new Escape. No details on a new Escape Hybrid were provided, but Ford notes the forthcoming C-Max Hybrid mini-minivan will even manage to best the present Escape Hybrid’s fuel economy by a whopping 25 percent. We can only hope that same system will ultimately work its way into the latest Escape.
Expect both the 2013 Escape and the production-ready C-Max Hybrid to be shown at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show in November.