DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co.'s redesigned 2013 Escape crossover, due in early 2012, will lose its V-6 engine and hybrid-powertrain versions, the automaker said today.
Instead, the next generation Escape will have three engine options, all of them four-cylinders.
Ford will move the Escape Hybrid's powertrain to the C-Max Hybrid, which it will launch next year.
The redesigned Escape will be based on the Vertrek concept shown at the 2011 Detroit auto show. Ford will show a production version of the 2013 Escape this fall at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Ford will offer a 2.5-liter four-cylinder naturally aspirated engine as the base engine in the 2013 Escape. Ford also will offer a 1.6- and a 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injection EcoBoost engine in the Escape.
The 2.0-liter engine is offered in Ford's Edge and Explorer crossovers.
North American debut
The 1.6-liter EcoBoost makes its North American debut in the Escape. In Europe, it is sold in the C-Max compact minivan and Focus compact car.
Ford expects the Escape with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine to generate more than 175 hp and 170 pounds-feet of torque. It is expected to deliver higher highway fuel economy than the current Escape Hybrid, which is rated at 31 mpg highway, said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president of global product development, at a media event here today.
Escape's 2.0-liter EcoBoost will replace the 3.0-liter V-6 in the Escape.
The 2.0-liter engine is expected to earn better fuel economy than competitors' V-6 engines and deliver performance competitive to those larger six-cylinder powertrains, Kuzak said. But Ford is not releasing any more details.
"EcoBoost will continue to be the cornerstone of our fuel-efficiency strategy," Kuzak said.
A better home
Ford is moving its hybrid powertrain to the C-Max Hybrid and discontinuing the Escape Hybrid because the C-Max Hybrid's body shape is more conducive to a hybrid powertrain than the current Escape's design, said Ford spokesman Richard Truett.
"The C-Max Hybrid's lighter weight and aerodynamic body will enable the hybrid powertrain to deliver higher efficiency," Truett said.
The five-passenger C-Max Hybrid will contain the first hybrid transmission and lithium ion battery system Ford is building in-house.
Kuzak said the C-Max's powertrain will deliver about a 25 percent improvement in fuel economy vs. the outgoing Escape Hybrid.
Ford also is moving the manufacturing site for the Escape.
The 2013 Escape moves from a unibody platform to Ford's global compact car platform. The current Escape is assembled at Ford's plant in Kansas City, Mo., but Ford will build the 2013 Escape in its plant in Louisville, Ky. Ford has been retooling the plant to build vehicles on the compact car platform.
Under a tentative agreement reached today with the UAW, Ford's Louisville plant will get an unnamed vehicle in addition to 2013 Escape. Ford will assemble the Transit commercial van from Europe at the Kansas City plant.
Ford will build the C-Max Hybrid alongside the C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid at its Michigan Assembly plant in Wayne, Mich. Ford now builds the Focus compact there.