2013 Ford Escape Crossover Will Boost Gas Mileage, Drop V-6

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2011 Ford Vertrek Concept

2011 Ford Vertrek Concept

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The 2013 Ford Escape, the first entirely new design in more than a decade for its popular compact crossover, will be officially unveiled next month at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

But before that, Ford is starting to trickle out bits and pieces of information to build buzz. The 2013 Escape will be very similar to the Vertrek Concept that the company showed at the Detroit Auto Show in January.

Yesterday, the company announced the engine lineup for the 2013 Escape: three different four-cylinder engines, but no V-6 option ... and no more Escape Hybrid either.

Ford did not release either power or torque figures for the three engines it will offer in the 2013 Ford Escape, but it said they will be:

  • 2.5-liter four
  • 2.0-liter EcoBoost four
  • 1.6-liter EcoBoost four

The outgoing 2012 Ford Escape, by comparison offers a 171-horsepower 2.5-liter four as the base engine, along with a 240-hp 3.0-liter V-6.

(For the current model year, the Escape Hybrid model also combines a 155-hp 2.5-liter engine with a 94-hp electric motor, for a total combined output of 177 hp. That model will die altogether for 2013, to be superseded by the front-wheel drive C-Max Hybrid.)

2011 Ford Escape Hybrid

2011 Ford Escape Hybrid

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The new 2013 Escape will be the first Ford model to offer two different EcoBoost engines, which use direct injection and turbocharging to produce higher power from smaller displacements.

The 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine in the all-new Escape, Ford says, will provide better highway fuel economy than today's Escape Hybrid--which is rated at 31 mpg highway. Its role is to be the fuel efficiency champion in the lineup, besting the mileage of competitors' much larger fours.

The larger 2.0-liter EcoBoost will return better gas mileage than competitors' V-6 engines, Ford says. Its role is to raise mileage of more powerful Escape models--almost surely including those with all-wheel drive.

And for the largest engine, the non-EcoBoost 2.5-liter, Ford will flip the usual practice around, most likely making it the base offering, because it is least fuel efficient.

The 2.5-liter engine in today's Escape is rated at 23 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and a combined 25 mpg with a five-speed manual and front-wheel drive, or 20 city, 27 highway, and 23 combined with a six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. You can expect higher gas-mileage ratings in the new model.

Ford has rapidly expanded its lineup of EcoBoost offerings, partially funded by $5.9 billion in U.S. Department of Energy low-interest loans granted two years ago.

The 2013 Escape will go on sale sometime "next year," although Ford spokesman Said Deep declined to be any more specific, citing "competitive reasons."

No doubt consumers will hear all about it when Ford decides it wants them to know the car is coming.

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