Ford Escape Hybrid

From Ford press: Automotive, environmental and consumer groups alike have showered the Ford Escape Hybrid with praise during its first year on sale. The world’s cleanest and most fuel-efficient SUV has won, among other important honors, the coveted North American Truck of the Year for 2005.

This year, Escape Hybrid builds on its “no compromises” philosophy with a new exterior paint color and a Premium Package bundling many popular options that enhance luxury and utility. Escape Hybrid combines the fuel economy and emissions benefits of a “full” hybrid with the go-anywhere capability, toughness and spaciousness of the Ford Escape, America ’s favorite small SUV. Escape Hybrid is the first hybrid vehicle to offer four-wheel-drive and towing capability of up to 1,000 pounds when properly equipped.

The Escape Hybrid is a “full” hybrid, meaning it automatically switches between pure electric power, pure gasoline engine power or combined operation to maximize efficiency and performance. Full hybrids achieve their greatest improvement in fuel economy during stop- and -go driving, when the electric motor is most efficient. In fact, the Escape Hybrid provides approximately 80 percent better fuel economy in city driving than the conventional V-6 Escape.

Its gasoline engine and electric motor work in concert, providing performance similar to that of a V-6 engine. In less dem and ing situations, the Escape Hybrid can run on its electric motor alone, (at speeds up to 25 mph) its gasoline engine alone or the most efficient combination of the two.
Escape Hybrid can travel more than 400-500 miles in city driving on a single tank of gasoline.

The combined output of both the gas and electric motors is 155 horsepower, and the powertrain provides 0-60 acceleration performance similar to the conventional Escape with 200-horsepower V-6 engine. The generator-motor provides power boosts during heavy load situations, helping Escape Hybrid accelerate briskly to speed. In addition to fuel-free operation, electric motors deliver maximum torque at low rpm, so they are an ideal complement to gasoline engines that generate peak power at higher rpm.

The electric power-assisted steering system allowed Ford engineers to easily tune the amount of steering assist independent of engine and vehicle speed, giving the Escape Hybrid a very easy steering effort at parking-lot speeds, while retaining Escape’s hallmark crisp steering feel while driving.
The optional Intelligent 4WD System, available on all Escape models, is fully computer-controlled and provides maximum traction as driving conditions vary. Its operation is so seamless that most drivers will never notice that it has engaged.

Gallery: Ford Escape Hybrid