All-New Ford Escape: Smarter Utility Vehicle Saves Customers Fuel, Money; New Technologies to Make Owners' Lives Easier
•Ford's newest sport utility vehicle (SÚV) arrives next year, bringing clever technologies and features designed to make life easier, and fuel economy projected to top any vehicle of its kind on the market
•Versatile vehicle features new hands-free technology – including liftgate with motion-sensing technology similar to video games' and upgraded MyFord Touch® system that makes connecting with digital devices on the go even easier
•New Escape's projected fuel economy is up to 5 mpg better than outgoing Escape; 1.6- and 2.0-liter EcoBoost® engines save customers fuel and money
•Customers globally will start seeing this sleek small SÚV next year, too. Named the Ford Kuga in Europe and China, this vehicle makes its international debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March and will offer unique powertrains and features for customers in those markets
The Ford Escape, America's best-selling SÚV, will raise the bar even higher with the debut of an all-new model that features 11 new exclusive features and fuel economy projected to top any vehicle of its kind on the market today.
'We call our all-new Ford Escape the ‘Smarter Útility Vehicle' because it offers the strengths that customers today really value – fuel economy, versatility and new technology that makes driving and living with the vehicle easier and more fun – all wrapped in a sleek, more modern design,' said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. 'Ford understands that more people every year are looking at vehicles like Escape, and we want to give them even more reasons to buy.'
Sixty percent of Americans shopping for a vehicle next year will look at either a midsize car or small SÚV, making Escape part of one of the most cross-shopped and fastest-growing segments in the auto industry.
'Escape is America's best-selling utility vehicle, and the Ford team has worked hard to make sure we deliver even more of what small SÚV owners really want,' Kuzak §äid.
In addition to more cargo volume behind the first and second rows than today's vehicle, the new Escape delivers:
•Eleven features no other small SÚV offers
•Clever technologies that make Escape even more versatile, including an available hands-free power liftgate that allows quick and easy access to cargo with the kick of a foot
•Projected best fuel economy of any compact SÚV, up to 5 mpg better than previous Escape
•Driving dynamics that make the drive experience more engaging on-road and a new Ford Intelligent 4WD System that provides even better traction off-road
•Sleek new design, with better interior materials and more finishing touches Escape technology makes life better
An array of clever technologies adds to the new Escape's versatility, helping make life easier for its owners. Key features include:
•An available hands-free power liftgate brings new technology to the SÚV market and is enabled by motion technology used in today's video game systems. A gentle kicking motion under the center of the rear bumper activates, unlocks and raises the liftgate when the driver has the Escape key fob. This allows quick and easy access to the cargo area without needing to set down packages or dig out keys. The same process closes the hatch
•SYNC® with MyFord Touch®, offers multiple ways for customers to manage and control information through voice commands, menus accessed through controls on the steering wheel, touch screens, buttons or knobs. Úpgraded system includes new look, making phone, navigation, entertainment and climate controls even easier to use
•Parallel parking the Escape is virtually stress-free with active park assist. With the press of a button, the system detects an available parallel parking space and automatically steers the vehicle into the space. Drivers control only the gas and brake pedals
•Maneuvering parking lots and traveling open roadways becomes even safer and less stressful with Escape's sensor-based BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System) with cross-traffic alert. BLIS displays an alert in the side mirror when a vehicle is detected entering a blind spot. Cross-traffic alert warns if traffic is detected approaching from the sides, such as when Escape is leaving a parking space in reverse
•The all-new Ford Escape is the first Ford SÚV to combine class-exclusive technology to automatically slow the vehicle when it's cornering too fast (Curve Control) or help accelerate through a turn (Torque Vectoring Control); a new Intelligent 4WD System helps deliver outstanding handling on pristine pavement and in adverse conditions as well, along with excellent traction off-road Spirited performance with outstanding fuel economy
Escape offers Ford's broadest nameplate range of EcoBoost® engine choices yet. Strong fuel economy comes from either the available 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine or 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine, which makes its American debut in the new Escape.
Both new engines combine EcoBoost's core technologies of direct fuel injection and turbocharging and add twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) to deliver even better miles per gallon and save customers money on fuel. (concept carz)
In Escape, EcoBoost engines are mated to specially calibrated, six-speed SelectShift Automatic™ transmissions, which are standard and allow drivers who want more hands-on experiences to manually control gear selection from a switch on the left-hand side of the shifter.
The gearbox features a new torque converter for improved driving feel, silky smooth shifts and even better fuel economy. Engineers also installed revised gear ratios for a balanced driving feel in all situations.
The standard engine in North America is an updated 2.5-liter, giving the new Escape a comprehensive lineup of four-cylinder offerings. It also is matched to a SelectShift Automatic six-speed.
Also aiding fuel economy is Escape's sleeker design. The new model is nearly 10 percent more aerodynamic than the outgoing model.
Plus, the new Escape's active grille shutter system, which is on all models with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost and 2.5-liter four-cylinder engines, reduces wind resistance. Grille slats stay open when extra engine cooling air is required, such as low-speed stop-and-go driving. When cruising on the highway at steady speeds, the grille slats automatically close to improve aerodynamics and fuel efficiency. Versatility and capability come standard
Stowing and towing are even easier in the new five-passenger Escape, thanks to a low liftover height of 27 inches, more innovations and cargo volume that surpasses the outgoing Escape – with 68.1 cubic feet of space behind the first row and 34.3 cubic feet behind the second row.
The new Escape's rear seats have been designed to fold flat easily. With the touch of a button, the head restraint folds down and with the lift of a handle on the seat, the seatback folds and dives as the seat folds flat and clicks into position.
Escape also features an available two-position load floor, which can be configured to allow the customer to choose among maximum luggage volume or flat load floor.
When properly equipped, the all-new Escape maintains a trailer tow rating of 3,500 pounds. Engaging driving performance through seamless system
Úsing new advanced software and sensors, the new Intelligent 4WD System analyzes data from 25 external signals, including wheel speed, accelerator pedal position and steering wheel angle, assessing road conditions and driver input 20 times faster than the blink of an eye.
The system uses all the sensor inputs to turn the vehicle in the direction the driver wants it to go. Intelligent 4WD builds on the pre-emptive actions by adding and subtracting torque as needed through an electromagnetic clutch. New SÚV goes global
Following its world debut in Los Angeles, this new vehicle will head to Europe, where sales of compact sport utilities have grown 200 percent since 2000. It will be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March for European customers as the all-new version of the Ford Kuga and will have unique powertrains and features. Chinese customers also will see the all-new Kuga next spring.
'This all-new Ford model opens a new chapter in the world of SÚVs,' Kuzak §äid. 'By being smarter, this utility vehicle will help customers around the globe find better, easier ways to connect with technology, maximize fuel efficiency and find the versatility and capability they need and want.'Source - Ford
Ford Assembly Teams Prepare for All-New 2013 Escape Production; Train in Simulated Factory at Louisville Plant
•Every assembly operator at revamped Louisville Assembly Plant spends at least one week in hands-on training before working on the line to build the 2013 Ford Escape
•A simulated factory enables up to 60 employees at once to practice the kind of operations they will perform on the assembly line in real time
Today's manufacturing technology and the products rolling off the assembly line are more complex than ever. At the same time, customer expectations for product quality and reliability are higher than ever. That's why the team at the transformed Louisville Assembly Plant (LAP) is committed to achieving top-notch quality levels from the time the very first all-new 2013 Ford Escape is produced.
Following more than two decades as the home of the body-on-frame Ford Explorer, the 3.2-million-square-foot Louisville plant was cleared for installation of one of the most advanced flexible assembly lines in the world. Now, the transformed LAP is equipped with the most modern, electric tools in the industry that are much quieter and more reliable than older pneumatic models. Electric tools also provide more consistent results during even simple tasks, such as tightening nuts and bolts.
Preparing the workforce through proper training to build vehicles using these new state-of-the-art tools and techniques is critical to the plant's success.
'Whether they are Ford veterans or new hires, we want every member of the production team to be fully prepared to build world-class vehicles from day one,' said John Savona, Louisville Assembly plant manager. 'That's why each team member will spend at least 40 hours in our state-of-the-art training facility before they can build a single 2013 Escape on the line.'
A veteran leader of five other Ford factories, Savona and his teams developed the simulated factory concept at three other plants over the past decade. The version implemented in Louisville is the most advanced yet, with eight different workstations where up to 60 people can train at once for a full eight hours.
Initially, team members spend several days learning about the plant's new tools and operating processes, including quality and safety procedures. Once they move into the simulation area, trainees practice representative operations on a workbench using what is known as a breadboard, as well as by working on an actual Escape model. Training for members of Únited Auto Workers Local 862 began in the simulated factory facility last fall.
'In the simulated factory, team members use the same types of tools they will use in production for similar operations,' said Vaughn Harbin, LAP training and development leader. 'They also practice the types of operations that tend to be most problematic in production, such as connecting brake lines and fitting weather stripping.'
While practicing with real tools in a classroom environment is important, it also is critical for every employee on the assembly line to remember they are part of a much larger production team consisting of more than 1,000 people at a time. In order to keep the line running smoothly and efficiently, each team member must perform his or her job within a prescribed amount of time. The hands-on training employees receive in LAP also takes timing into consideration.
'The LAP simulated factory is the first one to feature a visual indicator for the line cycle time so that trainees can get used to how quickly the real line will move,' said Savona. 'Ten Model Ts run on a belt above the test stands on the simulator line. As the Model T moves into the operator's zone, they can see at a glance how much time they have to complete their task.'
In addition to training operators who work on the assembly line, the LAP training facility also provides a hands-on experience for the electricians, millwrights and pipe-fitters who keep all of the equipment in proper working order. The training center gives the skilled-trades staff an opportunity to service the same type of tools, robots and transfer equipment found on the factory floor.
Since the original Escape debuted more than a decade ago, it has consistently been one of the best-selling vehicles in the Ford lineup. The team at Louisville Assembly Plant is committed to making the next-generation model a winner from its production start with world-class quality that matches the sleek styling and outstanding fuel efficiency customers are sure to appreciate.
LAP will kick off Escape production later this month with two shifts before eventually adding a third crew later this year. On three crews at full line speed, LAP will have approximately 4,200 hourly employees, including 400 skilled-trades staff, building the new Escape. The team will be comprised of a mix of veterans from the Louisville plant, transfers from 36 other Ford factories and new hires.Source - Ford