Ford Escape HEV Shown at Greater LA Auto ShowMarch 08, 2000 by Jeff Shepard
This year's Greater LA Auto Show, which was held January 6 through 14, 2001, saw the debut of Ford Motor Co.'s (Dearborn, MI) hybrid-electric version of the popular Escape SUV. The concept HEV model will be offered beginning in 2003. A fleet of demonstration HEV Escapes will be released later this year.
The Escape HEV looks like the current production model, but the four-cylinder gas engine that anchors the hybrid drivetrain will be able to get 40mpg in the city, have a 500-mile cruising range and deliver the performance of the V-6 model. The engine is a variation of the Escape's Zetec four-cylinder engine adapted to the Atkinson cycle concept, or five-stroke cycle. A 4x4 configuration will be available, and the vehicle will meet both California's Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle standards, as well as Stage IV emissions requirements in Europe before 2005.