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2008 Ford Escape completely redesigned
Nov. 29, 2006 -- The 2008 Ford Escape has been completely redesigned inside and out.
“The 2008 Escape offers the capability and styling of a traditional SUV with the benefits of crossover construction,” says Cisco Codina, group vice-president of North America marketing, sales and service for Ford Motor Company.
Ford says the all-new exterior has been sculpted into a bolder, tougher look. The high belt line is enhanced with blacked-out B-pillars, integrated running boards, available 17-inch wheels, and the deletion of the original Escape's molded-in-colour fascias and lower body-side moulding.
“The goal from the beginning was to make Escape look even stronger and tougher than the original,” says Doyle Letson, chief designer for the 2008 Escape. “We raised the belt line to give the profile a strong, modern proportion of sheet metal to glass. Then we sculpted the surfaces for a more Ford `Tough Truck' appearance, making Escape fit nicely in line with Explorer.”
Inside, a top-of-dash display puts much of the vehicle's information at eye level at the top of the centre stack. Rather than the traditional brick design for the radio and heating/air-conditioning controls, the Escape features dials and buttons that poke through the centre console.
The Escape's interior also features the first use of Ford's signature Ice Blue interior lighting, which presents a cool, crisp, easy-on-the-eyes light for night driving and enhances the overall feel of the interior.
The Escape's new centre console features two removable bins with dovetail mounting points on the front passenger side and rear of the console. The console is large enough to hold a laptop computer, and there are three levels of storage space.
The 2008 Escape is one of the first Ford vehicles to use speed-sensitive Electric Power Steering (EPS), a sophisticated system that helps correct for road irregularities and improves overall steering feel. This new system also helps improve fuel economy and eliminates the hydraulic noises typical of conventional hydraulic power-assisted steering systems.
To reduce noise, vibration and harshness levels, new recessed channels in the roof panel improve airflow over the top of the vehicle. Horizontal ribs in the roof also strengthen body structure and help reduce boom from wind noise. Compared with the previous model, the 2008 Escape is 12% quieter on the highway (30.8 sones to 27 sones at 80 mph in the wind tunnel) and 20% quieter in high-velocity crosswinds.
Under its skin, the 2008 Escape has one of the most advanced safety packages in the small sport utility vehicle segment (excluding hybrids). Standard equipment includes side curtain air bags and AdvanceTrac with RSC, Ford's exclusive Roll Stability Control system.
The 2008 Escape's standard 2.3-litre Duratec 23 inline-four produces 153 hp and comes with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. An available 3.0-litre, V-6 Duratec 30 engine makes 200 hp and is mated to a four-speed automatic.
The Escape Hybrid is still the world's cleanest sport utility vehicle, providing customers the fuel efficiency of gas-electric hybrid technology with the functionality and flexibility of a sport utility vehicle. The Escape Hybrid uses a 2.3-litre, dual-overhead-cam, 16-valve Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine and a permanent magnet alternating-current (AC) synchronous electric motor to provide power to the wheels.
For 2008, Escape Hybrid engineers revised the software in the control system to improve the transition between gasoline and electric operation. The Escape Hybrid is a full hybrid, which means it can run on electric power only, gasoline power only or a combination of the two.