DEARBORN - Ford hosted a “Power of Choice” media forum Tuesday afternoon at the Product Development Center in Dearborn to announce that the new Ford Escape – which will make its debut at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show in November – will be the first Ford in North America to offer two new fuel-efficient EcoBoost powertrains. The company also revealed that it will prioritize the five- passenger C-MAX as the choice to shift its award-winning Hybrid powertrain.
“The Ford Escape and C-MAX vehicle lines continue to deliver on our commitment to provide class-leading fuel economy with each new vehicle we bring to market and both support our goals to deliver customers true power of choice in finding efficient vehicles that meet their needs,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development.
Ford will focus on EcoBoost as the efficiency solution for the all-new Escape. For the first time, a 1.6-liter EcoBoost, which delivers better highway fuel economy than the current Escape Hybrid that is EPA-rated at 31 mpg, will be offered alongside the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine.
“The EcoBoost-focused lineup will give our customers the fuel economy they want while still delivering the competent performance and all-wheel-drive capability they expect from the Escape,” said Kuzak.
According to Kuzak, consumer demand for EcoBoost engines has increased each month since the technology was introduced in 2009.
“We just reached 100,000 EcoBoost-equipped vehicle sales in the U.S. this past weekend. We also see that EcoBoost continues to draw new customers to Ford with Taurus SHO achieving the highest conquest rate in the large sedan segment,” he said. “Perhaps even more compelling is the success of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost in the F-150, which now accounts for 41 percent of total F-150 sales, outselling our V8 models.”
As Ford focuses on EcoBoost technology for the Escape, the company will move its hybrid technology to the C-MAX vehicle line.
“Key to our plan is our first dedicated family of hybrids – the all-new five-passenger C-MAX hybrid and the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid,” he said.
The C-MAX hybrid will feature the first hybrid transmission and lithium-ion battery system Ford is building in-house.
“The C-MAX hybrid will deliver a more than 25 percent improvement in fuel economy versus the outgoing Escape Hybrid while still offering customers the five-passenger capability they expect,” said Kuzak.
The C-MAX Energi targets more than 500 miles of driving range using the battery and engine, more than any other plug-in or extended-range vehicle. It also delivers better charge-sustaining fuel economy than the Chevrolet Volt.
“The C-MAX family of electrified vehicles will provide versatile, practical options for customers who need utility while reducing carbon output and significantly lowering fuel costs,” said Kuzak. “No other company is providing this type of choice in a hybrid or plug-in hybrid.”