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Ford's 2nd gen Escape Hybrid unveiled

DailyTech reported on Monday that Ford was putting the final touches on its next generation Escape Hybrid for the 2006 L.A. Auto Show. Ford has now officially announced the compact SUV along with its conventional gasoline-engined brothers.

Overall, the Escape is mostly a "refresh" instead of a substantial revamp. The vehicle still rides on the same platform as before (featuring the same 103" wheelbase), but now has a thoroughly modern interior, reductions to noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and new speed-sensitive Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS).

Sadly, Ford didn't make many improvements in the powertrain. The 2.3 liter inline-4 and 3.0 liter V6 carryover intact as does the hybrid system. The only changes made to the hybrid system include some software tweaks to make the transition between electric and gasoline modes more transparent.

The Escape Hybrid is a "full hybrid" meaning that it can run on full electric power or in tandem with the gasoline engine. The vehicle's 133HP gasoline engine is paired with a 70 kw electric motor which helps boost city fuel economy by 75% over the V6 powered model. Power is routed through a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

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What about diesel power?
By ThisSpaceForRent on 11/29/2006 12:19:53 PM , Rating: 2
I don't understand why they don't just put a clean burning diesel engine in it, and be done with it. You could probably drop the price of the vehicle since you would reduce the complexity of manufacturing it, and still reap the benefits of increased fuel mileage. A diesel also makes sense in a larger vehicle because of the higher torque. Thoughts, flames to this idea?

RE: What about diesel power?
By Topweasel on 11/29/2006 12:26:49 PM , Rating: 2
Great Idea now that we have tighter emission controls and Benz has shown that they can build a diesel without any of the normal drawbacks. The one advantage to Hybrid tech is its easier to stay inline with current performance standards (which is very important to me) even if some of the electronics are a bit more costly. Also Americans (that being me) seem to have very long memories and are generally turned off by Diesels with out even giving them a chance.

RE: What about diesel power?
By ninjit on 11/29/2006 1:53:58 PM , Rating: 2
Yet we seem to have very short memories when it comes to gasoline prices.

Over the last 6 months, there has been an obvious inverse correlation of SUV/truck sales to gas prices. When they were high in summer SUV/truck sales plummeted and manufacturers were frantic to figure out what to do thinking that the American Public had finally wisened up and fallen out of love with the big cars.

But then after summer when gas prices dropped again, SUV/Truck sales shot up by almost 40%!!!

RE: What about diesel power?
By semo on 11/29/2006 4:08:54 PM , Rating: 2
The one advantage to Hybrid tech is its easier to stay inline with current performance standards

what do you mean by performance? power or mpg?
have a look at audi's 3.0 tdi 232 bhp, 332 lb-ft engine, whichever you choose.

higher bhp than the ford escape's 3.0 pertrol engine and higher torque. you can argue that the ford's engine is not turbocharged but with the 3.0 tdi you also get better mpg.

so again what do you mean by "performance standards"?

RE: What about diesel power?
By otispunkmeyer on 11/30/2006 3:56:18 AM , Rating: 2
i agree

diesel engines are there now, and they are quick.

i drove a focus 1.8litre diesel sport the otherday and it was well quick. ok theres not alot below 1500rpm, engine bogs down abit, but just before 2000 it goes like shit of a shovel.

only problem is its all over 2500rpm later and you gotta shift. great for motorways though accelerating through 50-70/80mph is great and will leave most petrol cars in your dust.

oh and they dont sound particularly sporty, but most manufacturers do an excellent job of vibration and sound damping. in some Audi's and BMW's you'd be forgiven for thinking you were in a petrol motor

tow guys, Ant and Pete do the gumball3000 in a diesel powered 3 series, its been tuned slightly and does 0-60 in 5.9 seconds....they kept some of the super cars honest thats for sure. BM's 3litre diesels are amazing pieces of engineering

ford should of pinched the new freelanders Engine. afterall its the first freelander thats completely ford. built on a focus platform.

they use the same 2.2TDCi engine out of one of the range topping mondeo, 160bhp is a healthy amount and its got oodles of torque

RE: What about diesel power?
By otispunkmeyer on 11/30/2006 3:46:32 AM , Rating: 2
the realy good thing about hybrids....... when in stationary traffic your engine is off. i know you can do that by turning the key also but its inconvenient.

diesels are the way though

the germans, and especially the french are extremely good at diesel engines, extremely good. petrol still holds the performance crown, but some diesels are seriously quick.

Skoda Fabia VRS is a 1.9liter diesel and it trounces the mini cooper, its shockingly fast

RE: What about diesel power?
By Martin Blank on 11/29/2006 12:31:28 PM , Rating: 2
There's still a general distrust of diesel engines in the US. They're perceived as dirty and unreliable, a relic of Mercedes diesels from the 1980s. I'd seriously consider a modern diesel if I were in the market for a new car, but I expect that will not be happening for another 3-4 years, by which time hopefully a few diesel hybrids will be available.

RE: What about diesel power?
By Spivonious on 11/29/2006 1:23:11 PM , Rating: 2
I'd be okay with a diesel engine if there was a diesel gas station anywhere close to me.

RE: What about diesel power?
By sdedward on 11/29/2006 1:27:17 PM , Rating: 1
Today's diesel engines are much more reliable than what they were 10-20 years ago. Not to mentions diesel's inherent reliability due to the compression ratio for diesel is much lower than gasoline internal combustion engines. Lower compression ratio equals less heat and generally less wear and tear on the engine components. There are of course drawbacks, but I just wanted to point out the reliability issue.

RE: What about diesel power?
By peldor on 11/29/2006 1:58:26 PM , Rating: 2
The compression ratio on a Diesel engine is about twice that of a gasoline engine.

Read up some more, you're clearly misinformed here.

RE: What about diesel power?
By otispunkmeyer on 11/30/2006 4:00:43 AM , Rating: 2
was gonna say lol

diesels have much higher compression ratios because the fuel wont ignite with a spark. its basically just got to be compressed fast and to a high pressure so that the fuel air mix combusts on it own. they have glow plugs to get them started though, and its generally why diesels were much heavier than their petrol brothers.

RE: What about diesel power?
By Martin Blank on 11/29/2006 2:03:55 PM , Rating: 2
The higher compression mentioned by Peldor led to the reason that they got such a bad rap in the 1980s. Mercedes (who should have known better) basically converted a gasoline engine to diesel. The gasoline engine wasn't designed to handle the compression ratios that were required for diesel, and they broke down fairly often, and once the warranties were over, repairs became very, very expensive.

RE: What about diesel power?
By TomZ on 11/29/2006 3:05:07 PM , Rating: 2
a relic of Mercedes diesels from the 1980s

Nah, it was General Motors that single-handedly killed the diesel market with their diesel offerings in the 1970s. Aweful engines those were.

RE: What about diesel power?
By GoatMonkey on 11/29/2006 1:25:36 PM , Rating: 1
Diesels just don't sound cool. Compare the sound of a GMC 2500 diesel to a similar size gas engine.

In reality though, I would have no problem driving a diesel if it offered equal or better performance, along with the better gas mileage.

I haven't worked out the math on diesels, so what kind of MPG would you need to get assuming you have a gas car that gets 25 MPG and gas costs $2.25 a gallon for regular, whereas diesel seems to cost about 10 to 20 cents more than premium, maybe $2.65 or so.

RE: What about diesel power?
By Martin Blank on 11/29/2006 2:11:59 PM , Rating: 2
For your example, it would need to get 29-30mpg. Diesels often do much better than this: the 2006 Volkswagen Beetle and Jetta TDIs get 35/42, and the Golf gets 33/44.

Those interested in trucks like a GMC 2500 often prefer the diesels partially because of the sound. They sound like big rigs to some extent, and that's a bonus for them.

RE: What about diesel power?
By MonkeyPaw on 11/29/2006 2:45:47 PM , Rating: 2
Sorta. Diesel is the engine of choice when it comes to towing. They are more reliable and efficient when pulling large loads vs a big gas engine. Unfortunately, many diesel owners think they can "gun it" like gas engines for more power. This typically ends up producing a little extra power--and lots of black smoke. Seeing diesel pickups, city buses, and every other large diesel vehicle do this is probably the biggest reason that everyone else won't buy into diesel cars. Well, that, and thier typical higher price vs a gas power variant.

RE: What about diesel power?
By lufoxe on 11/29/2006 2:19:44 PM , Rating: 2
In reality though, I would have no problem driving a diesel if it offered equal or better performance, along with the better gas mileage.

Do yourself a favor, go to any VW dealership and try out either the golf/rabbit diesel, or the jetta diesel, you will be greatly surprised, you drive the car and with the ammount of torque that the engine has, couple with a turbo chanrger as well as the 6 SPD (auto or manual) transmission it's mated to, it can kick some serious butt in the low end, (notice low end, you are not going to get the 100+ MPH performance of a gas engine) also as far as the gas millage is concerned, the jetta makes roughly 43MPG in the city. I'd say that's good gas millage (and yes that's with the AC ON, unlike the hybrids) if you want a real testament (again VW) try to find the 1.3L Lupo that was in Germany, sang to the tune of close to 100 MPG (not KM). If it's available and in my price range, next car I get, is going to be a diesel jetta or rabbit... can't beat those specs.

And its EPA rating is?
By Topweasel on 11/29/2006 10:59:40 AM , Rating: 2
But what really is the fuel economy. Every time I here of a Hybrid they talk about how much better they are and then you find out its still only 26-28 MPG. With an Engine that week on it they might as well put in a nice 2.4L inline 4 that makes like 165HP and gets 30-32 MPG. Sure for an SUV anything over 20 is nice but But overall It either seems like your giving to much up (prius)or your not getting a whole lot back (Accord).

RE: And its EPA rating is?
By Kuroyama on 11/29/06, Rating: -1
RE: And its EPA rating is?
By Topweasel on 11/29/2006 12:14:06 PM , Rating: 3
Sorry I didn't notice that the prius got redesigned. Or it looks like it did, the versions I see on the road seem to have wheel base the size of a MR2 along with the funky rear-end, and they certainly didn't have enough acceleration.

I am not saying that Hybrids are not a good idea, but I just noticed the choices that these manufacturers seem to go is all about using last gens engine tied to a electronic motor when a new more fuel efficient engine is produced that will generally get the same (debatable) efficiency. What I would like to see is Hybrids where the engine is made in conjunction with the Electronic unit like more advanced multiple displacement (where they can use the electronic unit to cover up quick and dramatic cut offs of cylinders.

RE: And its EPA rating is?
By Hoser McMoose on 11/29/2006 3:12:54 PM , Rating: 2
Or, put more simply, you're looking for exactly what Honda and Toyota are doing with their current hybrids. Both of these companies use very advanced engines that can do dynamic cylinder shut-off (for the I4 Civic, Camry and Prius it's an all-or-nothing deal while the V6 Accord can run on 0, 3 or 6 cylinders). Fuel efficiency is increased by over 30% when compared to their more traditional engine counterparts without sacrificing power or much of anything else. The only real downside is the extra $4-5000 on the price tag and potentially increased repair costs.

RE: And its EPA rating is?
By Kuroyama on 11/29/2006 8:36:42 PM , Rating: 2
The first model Prius sold in the US was basically an Echo with a hybrid engine. So as you say, it was a small car which was underpowered. The current Prius is much larger, although also much funnier looking. Won't have the "fun" of a car with more acceleration than you really need, but it has more than enough for even short freeway ramps.

RE: And its EPA rating is?
By Sunrise089 on 11/29/2006 12:31:57 PM , Rating: 2
I sort of feel bad doing this, since most of your arguement is sound, but you twice made what is basically THE beginner's mistake when trying to talk about cars. There is no "V4", at least not in passanger cars sold in America. You meen to say "I4". I simply find it very ironic that a hybrid fan (and one that seems to know what he's talking about when it comes to hybrids) just so happens to not know even basic automotive terminology (or is having a really off day).

Also, the reason the Prius isn't as terrible of a deal as something like a Civic hybrid is because it's based off a unique model, something only the Prius can claim. Based on the Prius's pricing, one can infer that a non-hybrid version of the same car would be larger, better equipped, and equally priced reletive to a Corolla, so of course the hybrid is a fairly good deal, since Toyota is basically pricing it well under the rest of their fleet in terms of features per dollar. Of course they're making next to nothing off the Prius to be able to do that.

RE: And its EPA rating is?
By Kuroyama on 11/29/2006 8:29:10 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, my bad, as you say I4. Certainly the Prius is underpriced for its complexity, and because this sort of subsidy will not continue if such cars become widely adopted I think diesel holds much more potential. However, given the current pricing of hybrids and given that clean diesel is only just now becoming available, I think that a Prius or Escape Hybrid are good values for the money.

RE: And its EPA rating is?
By mjcutri on 11/29/2006 11:46:03 AM , Rating: 2
In actuality, people actually get better fuel milage with the escape than the EPA estimates because of the way the escape hybrid system is set up. Most people get 30+ mpg and the crazy thing is that the escape does better in town than on the highway because it runs on the motors under 30 mph.
Check out this site for real world mpg of different cars:

RE: And its EPA rating is?
By Steve Guilliot on 11/29/2006 9:26:25 PM , Rating: 2
Hybrids do better in town vs. on the highway due to regenerative braking. Town milage is worse in a standard auto becuase you lose energy every time you stop or slow down. Regenerative braking helps here.

Highway mileage is primarily a factor of wind resistance (drag). Hybrids don't help there.

Overall engine efficiency helps, sure, but it helps everywhere, not just in town.

By PitbulI on 11/29/2006 11:47:39 AM , Rating: 2
I like it. SUV's aren't going to get you great fuel mileage over a car just yet but at least Ford is working on it. It takes a few years to make a whole new design and I'm sure that there will be refinements over the next few years.

What is the fuel economy on this Escape though? Is it much better than the normal gas escapes? And is ford going to be bringing out something to run on the new E85 fuel soon?

I need to trade in my gas guzzling F-150 for something. Now when they make a Hybrid F-150, that will be something, just as long as they don't lose all that torque and horsepower. That will be a hard thing to do.

RE: Ford
By Gardidien on 11/29/2006 12:18:03 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, Also I'm a big person, my family is full of big people, and we don't really fit to well in the smaller hybrids. ~26 MPG from the Escape is a Godsend compared to the ~12 MPG I'm getting from my 4.0 I6 Jeep right now. Next year will be time to trade up.

RE: Ford
By Topweasel on 11/29/2006 12:22:11 PM , Rating: 2
E85 is the biggest Joke ever pushed on the American public in ages. Its efficiency is so low it would take almost 5x the ammount of E85 as it does current E15 gas we purchase nowadays. Plus there needs to be a whole new pump and manufacturing industry built up to support it. At $2.5 a gallon for gas you would need to be able to buy E85 at 50 cents to just stay even with where you are.

Batter Cell technology and Hybrids (which would include any kind of power or heat to power recovery system) would be the much better route. If battery's could hold 400 Miles worth with about a 15 minute charge time, and we got about another 35-40 more Nuclear powerplants we would be set for a really long time.

RE: Ford
By GoatMonkey on 11/29/2006 1:17:47 PM , Rating: 1
The point of E85 is more to get away from foreign oil than to save money.

RE: Ford
By TomZ on 11/29/2006 3:06:17 PM , Rating: 2
No, the point is to subsidize U.S. agribusiness.

RE: Ford
By Samus on 11/30/2006 12:14:04 PM , Rating: 2
correct. theoretically E85 could be a lot cheaper, since its made out of material that would be otherwise wasted anyway. however, production has to increase as does the efficiency of production to make it cheap...

unfortunately it (E85) burns faster so you need approximately 1/3rd more of it to go the same distance as gasoline.

RE: Ford
By Martin Blank on 11/29/2006 2:43:11 PM , Rating: 2
Do you have some evidence for this 80% reduction in mileage? According to what I find, E85 has only 28% less energy than gasoline, and most vehicles see about a 25% reduction in range. This would make for $1.88 E85 to match the ranges, not 50 cents.

Turning to your battery charge statements, the Prius battery tops out at a content of about 1750 Watt-hours of energy. Charging that in 15 minutes means sending in energy at a rate of 7000 Watts per hour, or about 60 amps on a 120V home circuit (30 amps on a 240V circuit), ignoring loss through heat. This can be a dangerous level to connect, and only considers the energy required to make it maybe 20 miles in a common hybrid. You want 20 times that (35kW-hr), meaning 240 amps on a 120V circuit, or 7000V at a 20 amp rate. Those aren't fun numbers, and would likely require expensive new circuitry. The simple fact is that short distances will be possible through charging for a few minutes, but if you want a 400-mile range, you're going to have to let it sit for a little while.

Finally, your nuclear power statements are off by at least a factor of three or four. Adding 35-40 new nuclear plants would add 70GW-80GW of additional power capacity to the grid, presuming two 1000MWe reactors per plant. This would be about the same as 7.5% of US electrical generating capacity, but would likely offset shutdowns of older coal and natgas plants, so it wouldn't be a perfect addition. They would also take about five years to get from concept to actual grid production due to the regulatory requirements and construction time involved, and in that five years even more non-nuclear power will be coming online, totaling about 80GW from 2007-2010 alone.

My brilliance is showing...
By Mazzer on 11/29/2006 11:21:17 AM , Rating: 2
I'm no super engineer but why would they just directly carry over all the old engine components into this car? At least tell me the V6 is up to 220hp too. To me it would make more sense if Ford built two hybrid engines. Take the 2.3 from Mazda and build hybrid system on that so you can share it with the mazda 3/5/6/fusion/escape/Milan/etc.. Then build a hyrbid system off of the 3.0 v6 to use if people want more powerful hybrid on the escape/fusion/6/Explorer/etc. Thats my personal thoughts but please shoot them down with logic if you want.

RE: My brilliance is showing...
By Brandon Hill on 11/29/2006 11:27:06 AM , Rating: 3
Everything powertrain is carried over. Even the old 4-speed automatic transmission is carried over when the rest of the Ford crew is getting (or already has) the new 6-speed (500, Fusion, Edge). And it's still using the 3.0 V6 instead of the new 3.5 liter V6 which pumps out ~260HP.

"The 2008 Escape’s standard 2.3-liter, 16-valve Duratec 23 I-4 produces 153 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 152 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,250 rpm, paired with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. The available 3.0-liter, 24-valve V-6 Duratec 30 engine makes 200 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 193 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,850 rpm. With a four-speed automatic, the V-6 powered Escape can tow up to 3,500 pounds."

RE: My brilliance is showing...
By JDL440 on 11/29/2006 11:35:10 AM , Rating: 2
Even the Fusion and Milan are still using the old 3.0L V6. You have to "upgrade" to the Lincoln or Edge to get the new 3.5L.

I'm guessing it's economics. It's cheaper to sell the old engine and provide new/upscale models only with the new technology.

RE: My brilliance is showing...
By bobdeer1965 on 11/29/2006 1:57:18 PM , Rating: 2
I thought you were all savvy at internet searches. Go to FORD.COM. ALL of the information is there. This is NOT a carryover engine. Read the specs that I cut and pasted below. If you don't understand engine technology then educate yourself before making uneducated guesses and posting them. It is the same engine as developed for the first generation Hybrid Escapes but it IS specific to the hybrid. It is a more efficient engine than the standard I4 motor. And why does everyone wonder what the fuel economy is. I found it all by myself on Fords website. I must be really smart.

I do agree on the Diesel post though. But why not an efficient Diesel with Hybrid technology to give even better efficiency?

Gasoline Engine
Engine Type 2.3L 4V14 Atkinson Cycle Engine & Electric Motor
Engine Electronics Electronic engine controls
Displacement 2.3L (2,261 CC)
Horsepower (SAE net@rpm) 133 @ 6000 rpm
Torque (lb.-ft.@rpm) 124 lb-ft @ 4,250 rpm
Compression ratio 12.4:1
Fuel delivery Sequential multi-port electronic fuel injection
Fuel recommended Regular unleaded
Fuel economy FWD - 36 mpg city/ 31 mpg highway
4WD - 32 city/ 29 mpg highway
Transmission type Electronically Controlled Continuously
Variable (eCVT)

133hp ? eh?
By otispunkmeyer on 11/30/2006 3:41:56 AM , Rating: 2
133bhp from a 2.3 litre? Typo?

unless its a diesel thats shocking and its even worse for a 3liter V6 lol

infact alot of diesels in europe now push more than that and theyre smaller to boot.

RE: 133hp ? eh?
By bike4freedom2 on 11/30/2006 10:08:27 PM , Rating: 2
No typo. Like Toyota, Ford modified its standard Otto cycle engine to a more efficient Atkinson cycle engine. If you want details look on wikipedia for Atkinson cycle engines. The main difference is that the Otto cycle engine has the same length for all four cycles (intake, compression, power and exhaust). The Atkinson cycle has an effectively longer power cycle. The easy way to do this is to hold the intake valve open for a longer time then normal. This allows some of the fuel air mixture to be pushed back out into the intake manifold. So think of the 2.3L as an engine with a 2.3L power stroke, but only about 2.L intake stroke. This makes for a very efficient engine, but one that is larger for the power output.

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