2008 FORD ESCAPE COMBINES A BOLD NEW LOOK WITH A SMOOTH, QUIET RIDE AND TOUGH SUV CAPABILITY
The Ford Escape, one of America’s best-selling small utility vehicles, is completely redesigned inside and out for 2008. Escape now makes a more powerful statement with a bolder, more rugged exterior design that bears a stronger family resemblance to the Ford Explorer and Ford Expedition.
The all-new interior resets the bar for small utility vehicles with more upscale appointments, new innovative storage options and improved comfort and quietness. Meanwhile, chassis refinements deliver impressive fuel economy and agile driving dynamics that belie the Escape’s rugged exterior.
The Escape helped ignite consumer demand for more fuel-efficient small-utility vehicles, which almost doubled the small-utility market from 800,000 units in 2000 to an estimated 1.5 million in 2006.
The combination of traditional SUV capability and crossover construction made the original Escape an instant success. More than one million Escapes have been sold since its introduction as a 2001 model – more than any other small utility vehicle or crossover of any size. Six years later, Escape remains among the sales leaders of the small-utility segment, a remarkable feat considering the increased segment volume.
Bold, American design ties to Ford Tough Truck heritage
The 2008 Escape features an all-new exterior that has been sculpted into a bolder, tougher look that strengthens the family resemblance to Explorer and Expedition. New exterior design details include:
This plastic and polyester is processed, spun into yarn, dyed and woven into seat fabric. Recycling waste otherwise intended for landfills has obvious environmental benefits. Interface Fabrics estimates that Ford’s use of post-industrial recycled materials, rather than virgin fibers, could conserve an estimated 600,000 gallons of water, 1.8 million pounds of carbon dioxide equivalents and more than 7 million kilowatt hours of electricity.
Upscale Interior Appointments, Flexible Storage Space
In addition to the industry’s first recycled seating surfaces, the 2008 Escape features a host of interior innovations that will eventually cascade to other Ford vehicles.
The Escape features Ford’s first use of a “top of dash” display positioned at eye level on the dashboard, which shows ambient temperature, radio functions and climate-control readouts. This simple, efficient design puts much of the vehicle’s information in one place at the top of the dashboard, making it easier to reference when driving.
Also improving ease-of-use is the clean, uncluttered center console. Rather than the traditional “brick” design for the radio and heating/air conditioning controls, Escape features dials and buttons that “poke-through” the center console. The instrument panel houses audio and climate controls, a standard MP3/iPod jack, and controls for available heated seats and in-dash navigation system.
Escape also features the first use of Ford’s new, signature Ice Blue interior lighting. The cool blue lighting replaces the traditional green on the instrument cluster, the center console, the redundant controls on the steering wheel and the door lock and window switches. Ice Blue presents a cool, crisp, easy-on-the-eyes light for night driving and enhances the overall feel of the interior.
A host of other innovative features elevate the sophistication inside Escape.
Electric Power Assist Steering Highlights Improved Ride and Handling
The 2008 Ford Escape is one of the first Ford Motor Company vehicles to use speed-sensitive Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS), a sophisticated system that helps correct for road irregularities and improves overall steering feel.
Conventional power steering systems use an engine-driven hydraulic gear, which saps power and efficiency from the engine. The 2008 Escape’s new EPAS system uses an electric motor rather than the engine’s accessory drive. This new system eliminates the hydraulic noises typical of conventional hydraulic power-assisted steering systems and improves fuel economy as well. Thanks in part to the new EPAS system, gas Escape models achieve up to an 8 percent improvement in fuel economy over the previous model.
Because there are no hydraulic lines or fluid, maintenance costs over the life of the vehicle are reduced, as well.
For 2008, Escape’s car-like driving dynamics are further improved by reducing rear spring rates and increasing the front stabilizer bar from 20 to 21 mm. Models with 17-inch wheels get unique rear dampers and a 22 mm front stabilizer bar.
Gasoline-powered Escapes come with an all-new 10-inch front disc/rear drum braking system vthat is more durable, quieter and emits less dust. The 2008 Escape Hybrid continues with regenerative four-wheel disc brakes.
Focusing on NVH refinements delivers a quiet, car-like ride
Engineers made a host of changes to the 2008 Escape to reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels inside the vehicle. For example, new recessed channels in the vehicle’s roof panel are designed to improve air flow over the top of the vehicle.
To achieve lower NVH levels, a new acoustic laminate is sandwiched between two glass panels in the windshield. An acoustic headliner and a new interior carpet with a 50 percent increase in thickness over half the area and a 25 percent increase in volume does a much better job of isolating noise.
The 2008 Escape features a long list of additional NVH enhancements, including:
Powertrain and chassis refinements reinforce Escape’s car-like ride
Escape’s unibody construction and four-wheel independent suspension contribute to its car-like ride and handling. This responsive architecture provides precise steering and handling by giving each wheel the ability to react separately to road imperfections, while the lower stance makes ingress and egress easier.
Escape comes standard with front-wheel drive. Escape’s available Intelligent all-wheel-drive (AWD) system was tuned with an emphasis toward driving performance while offering confident all-weather driving. Using a preemptive slip strategy, the system continuously monitors vehicle speed, throttle input and steering angle to seamlessly deliver torque to the appropriate wheel even before wheel slippage occurs. The system also helps eliminate torque steer and helps balance the vehicle when cornering. Intelligent AWD uses an active on-demand coupler to allocate a precise amount of torque from front to rear or side to side, with up to 100 percent of the torque going to either axle.
The 2008 Escape’s standard 2.3-liter, 16-valve Duratec 23 I-4 produces 153 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 152 pound-feet of torque at 4,250 rpm and comes with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. An available 3.0-liter, 24-valve V-6 Duratec 30 engine makes 200 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 193 pound-feet of torque at 4,850 rpm mated to a 4-speed automatic.
Escape bolsters its safety leadership with a host of standard safety features
Under its skin, Escape has one of the most advanced safety packages in the small SUV segment. The 2008 Escape has an entirely revised restraint system that consists of new air bags, safety belts, steering column and a new steering wheel. Standard safety content includes:
Key Features and Options:
Standard features include: Anti-lock Braking System (ABS); Power front disc brakes; Power rack-and-pinion steering; Rear window defroster; Power adjustable side view mirrors; Air conditioning; Auxiliary input jack; Center dome lamp with map light; Day/Night rearview mirror; Power door locks; Two power points; Rear cargo light; 60/40-split fold rear seat; Tilt steering wheel; AdvanceTrac® with RSC®; Battery saver; Belt-Minder®; Child safety locks (rear doors); LATCH system; Personal Safety System®; Remote keyless entry; SecuriLock®/Passive anti-theft system; Tire Pressure Monitoring System.
Available options include: All-wheel drive; 17-inch chrome clad wheels; Audiophile, 320-watt, six-disc, in-dash changer, seven speakers, subwoofer; DVD-based navigation system; SIRIUS® Satellite Radio; Front and rear leather-trimmed six-way power seats; Leather-wrapped steering wheel; Driver and front passenger heated seats; 110V power point; Black roof rack without cross bars; Floor mats; Fog lamps; Full-size spare wheel and tire; Integrated side step bars; Power moonroof; Cargo area cover; Lockable hidden wet trunk; Roofrack with crossbars; Dual illuminated visors; Compass, Electrochromatic mirror; Keyless entry keypad; Message center; Outside air temperature reading; Overhead console; Reverse Sensing System.
|2000||Based on a brand-new platform developed in association with Mazda, the Escape makes its public debut at the North American International Auto Show|
|2001||Escape sets an all-time calendar year SUV sales record with 121,184 units sold during the year|
|2003||The 500,000th Escape is sold|
|2003||Escape is again the best-selling small SUV|
|2004||Escape is redesigned for the 2005 model year|
|2004||Escape Hybrid, the world’s first hybrid-electric SUV, goes on sale|
|2004||Escape retains best-seller status|
|2005||Redesigned 2005 model gets two improved engine options: a new Duratec 23 4-cylinder and an improved Duratec 30 V-6|
|2007||Escape is redesigned for the 2008 model year|