01/12/2000 – 2001 Ford Escape: Small SUV for Big-City Lifestyles

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Source: Ford
Motor Company

2001 Ford Escape: Small SUV for Big-City Lifestyles

DETROIT, Jan. 11, 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.

Introduced today at the 2000 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, 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
  • A capable vehicle designed, tested and built to Ford truck standards

“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 that 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 Escape

  • Choice of DOHC 2.0-liter I-4 or 3.0-liter V-6 engines
  • 5-speed manual gearbox with the I-4 engine
  • 4-speed automat

    ic/overdrive transaxle with the V-6 engine

  • Full-time automatic 4×4 or front-wheel drive drivetrains
  • 4×4 system comes with a driver-determined switch to select four-wheel drive automatic or “4×4 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 second-row seating
  • Four doors and rear liftgate with flip-up glass
  • Large, versatile cargo area
  • Unibody design provides refined ride, handling and maneuverability
  • Available anti-lock braking system (standard on XLT models)
  • Safety 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 the class.

With average fuel economy of 28 miles per gallon, the new Escape with the I-4 engine and 4×2 configuration will be comparable to many family sedans. Escape is equipped with the 3.0-liter V-6 engine and 4×4 configuration to achieve an average of more than 24 miles per gallon. It also will be certified to low emission vehicle 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 countries.

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