2001 Ford Escape: Small SUV for big-city
CHICAGO, Feb. 10,
2000 - The all-new Ford Escape - with unibody construction and
go-anywhere four-wheel-drive capabilities - provides refined ride
and handling, an outstanding package, good fuel economy and low
emissions in a small, tough SUV that's versatile enough for the most
active lifestyles and easily maneuverable in urban traffic.
First introduced at the 2000 North American International Auto Show
in Detroit and shown at the 2000 Chicago Auto Show, Ford's newest
sport utility vehicle marks the company's expansion into the growing
small SUV segment. Sales in that segment have more than doubled in
the United States in the last four years, from 1995 sales of 250,000
vehicles to well over 500,000 through the end of 1999.
"Ford pioneered the modern SUV market with the Explorer in 1991.
Since then, SUV sales in the U.S. have climbed an average of 17
percent per year," explains Jim O'Connor, Ford Division president
and vice president of Ford Motor Company. "The 2001 Escape provides
a logical extension of the Ford SUV family and will help us
maintain our proven leadership by providing customers with a bold
new choice in the small SUV market."
The new Ford Escape, smaller than the best-selling Ford Explorer, is
designed to appeal to younger buyers as well as the "young at heart"
- drivers who want fun, agile, sporty, durable yet affordable
transportation for their active lifestyles.
The 2001 Ford Escape offers customers:
- Nimble maneuverability
- Sport styling with rugged capability
for off-road driving
- Most spacious interior package in its
class at 132.9 cubic feet with versatility for carrying cargo as
well as passengers
- Driving safety and confidence
capable vehicle designed, tested and built to Ford truck
"We believe Escape will appeal to a wide variety of consumers,
including those who have not owned an SUV before, but whose life's
activities now require the space and versatility that an SUV
provides. Those people might not consider a larger SUV, but Escape
will provide them with the perfect solution," says O'Connor.
"Whether they are young singles, newlyweds, small families or empty
nesters, the Escape will be an affordable and fun option that will
allow them to do all of the things they enjoy such as skiing,
camping and biking."
On sale this summer, the new Escape joins Ford's "Outfitters"
showroom and the company's "No Boundaries" promise for tough and
versatile SUVs. Together with the Explorer, Explorer Sport,
Explorer Sport Trac, Expedition and Excursion, the new Escape gives
Ford the most comprehensive SUV lineup in the industry. 2001 Ford
- Choice of DOHC 2.0-liter I-4 or 3.0-liter V-6 engines
5-speed manual gearbox with the I-4 engine
automatic/overdrive transaxle with the V-6 engine
automatic 4x4 or front-wheel drive drivetrains
- 4x4 system
comes with a driver-determined switch to select four-wheel drive
automatic or "4x4 lock"
- 3,500-pound towing capacity (with V-6
engine and towing package) - enough to pull jet skis, snowmobiles or
a small boat
- Five-passenger seating
- Roomy front- and
- Four doors and rear liftgate with flip-up
- Large, versatile cargo area
- Unibody design
provides refined ride, handling and maneuverability
anti-lock braking system (standard on XLT models)
features include second generation dual front air bags and available
side-impact air bags
- Low fuel consumption and certified to
LEV emissions standards
- Standard air conditioning
Based on an all-new platform developed in partnership with Mazda,
the new Ford Escape provides customers with a small, versatile and
tough SUV with maximum convenience and comfort - together with a
unibody design for refined ride and handling, and one of the safest
body structures in its class.
With average fuel economy of 28 miles per gallon, the new Escape
with the I-4 engine and 4x2 configuration will be comparable to many
family sedans. Escape is equipped with the 3.0-liter V-6 engine and
4x4 configuration to achieve an average of more than 24 miles per
gallon. It also will be certified to low emission vehicle (LEV)
standards and its emissions will be among the cleanest in its class.
The 2001 Ford Escape will be built at Ford's Kansas City Assembly
Plant in Claycomo, Mo., and goes on sale in North America this
summer. The new small SUV will be sold worldwide in more than 150