The new-generation Ford Escape Hybrid SUV will bring a highly efficient hybrid model to one of the most popular segments in New Zealand, offering customers an advanced powertrain alongside greater practicality, and improved cabin space all wrapped in distinctive style. The Escape will be the first electrified Ford model offered in New Zealand, with significant investment in advanced technology filtering through to local customers.
On sale in early 2020, the all-new Ford Escape Hybrid is the second model — after the Focus — based upon Ford’s advanced C2 platform architecture, which uses high-tech materials, manufacturing techniques and strategies to deliver direct customer benefits that Escape is known for: driving dynamics, user-friendliness, yet with up-to-the-minute technology.
“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,” said Ford Australia and New Zealand CEO, Kay Hart. “We know our customers love technology, and many are 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.”
The all-new Ford Escape Hybrid will enable customers to take full advantage of the next-generation Escape’s engineering, design and functionality, which will deliver bold, distinctive design, greater occupant spaces, improved cargo area flexibility with a strong emphasis on safety and technology.
Available from launch in New Zealand in early 2020, the all-new Escape Plug-In Hybrid delivers the driving range and freedom offered by a traditional combustion engine alongside the efficiency and refinement of an electric powertrain.
The power-split architecture combines a 2.5-litre, four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle petrol engine, electric motor and generator, and 14.4kWh lithium-ion battery to produce 165kW. Ford’s first plug-in hybrid in New Zealand will deliver a pure-electric driving range in excess of 50 kilometres.
The Escape Plug-in Hybrid’s battery can be recharged using an integrated charging port, and is automatically replenished on the move using regenerative charging technology that captures kinetic energy normally lost during braking.
Drivers can choose when and how to deploy battery power using EV Auto, EV Now, EV Later and EV Charge modes. When the battery reaches its lowest state-of-charge, the Escape automatically reverts to EV Auto mode — supplementing petrol engine power with electric motor assistance using recaptured energy for optimised fuel-efficiency.
The all-new Escape introduces a distinctive exterior with premium proportions. A streamlined silhouette improves aerodynamics, for better economy, and incorporates the longer wheelbase. This creates a larger footprint on the road benefitting ride and stability; a longer bonnet; further reclined rear windshield angle and lower roofline.
The simplified design brings a more elegant, sophisticated ethos, enabling New Zealand Escape customers to choose a model that better matches their personality, style and taste. In addition to premium paint finishes, this includes demarcation via unique light signatures, athletic stances on model-specific alloy wheels, and detailing such as intakes, valences and grille facia, to bring a clear story with each Escape.
Efficiency is key to New Zealand SUV buyers, and was a core element in every process of development for the next-generation Escape. The Escape’s chassis uses advanced materials to be significantly stronger, more rigid and electrification-ready, delivering real-world improvements to safety and fuel efficiency.
Demonstrating this advantage is the increase in wheelbase, enabling a roomier, more comfortable interior – with additional cargo and occupant space – in comparison to the previous Escape. Despite this, the new Escape also posts a significant weight reduction of up to 90kg against the equivalent of the existing model. Such a significant weight reduction further reduces running costs for customers, while also bringing improved driving dynamics through handling and responsiveness thanks to a 10-per cent increase in torsional rigidity.
Space efficiency comes courtesy of Escape’s new dimensions: the new model is 44mm wider and 89mm longer than the outgoing model, while the wheelbase has increased by 20 mm. Inside, that translates to 43 mm more shoulder room and 57 mm more hip room in the front seats, while rear passengers benefit from 20 mm more shoulder room and 36mm more hip room. Despite a 20mm lower overall height, the all-new Escape also brings 13mm more headroom for front seat occupants and 35mm additional space in the rear.
For rear seat passengers, the entire second row of seats can be moved backwards for a generous 1035 mm rear legroom, or forwards to increase boot space. A remote release function enables the second row to be folded flat with ease.
Further specification and New Zealand-market details including pricing will be announced closer to the next-generation Ford Escape’s launch in early 2020.