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Ford Engineer Says Escape ST Is ‘A Fantastic Idea’

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Back in April, Ford Authority exclusively reported that a Ford Escape ST was not part of the automaker’s plans at the time, despite growing interest in performance-focused crossovers and SUVs and the lack of such a vehicle in the segment. However, it appears that perhaps the automaker is reconsidering that decision.

“We do have an outstanding legacy and a really good foundation with the Focus ST, and we’re always evaluating further derivative opportunities, but as you guys know, I really can’t comment on future products,” Ford’s global Escape vehicle line chief program engineer, James Hughes, recently told a group of Australian journalists, according to CarsGuide. “But I think it [an Escape ST] is a fantastic idea.”

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That’s certainly not a confirmation that Ford is planning on offering an Escape ST, but it’s far from a denial that it’s going to happen, too. Presumably, it wouldn’t be too difficult to produce such a machine, as the Escape rides on the same Ford C2 Platform as the Focus ST, which is powered by Ford’s 2.3L EcoBoost I-4 making 273 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque.

Currently, the sportiest Escape available is the ST-Line, which is an appearance package, albeit with a few suspension tweaks. Those seeking more performance from a small crossover must opt for the new Puma ST, which features Ford’s turbocharged 1.5L EcoBoost I-3 that produces 200 PS (197 horsepower) at 6,000 rpm and 320 Nm (236 pound-feet) of torque at 2,500 rpm, and is mated to a proper six-speed manual.

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Meanwhile, Ford’s 2.0L EcoBoost I-4, which is rated at 250 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, is the top dog in the Escape food chain for the moment, as the forthcoming 2021 Escape PHEV is targeted to produce 209 horsepower.

We’ll have more on this as soon as it’s available, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford Escape news and ongoing Ford news coverage.

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Written by Brett Foote

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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17 Comments

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  1. I don’t care if you put a matter/anti-matter mix chamber in it, Ford has to fix that ugly beak and golf-ball interior door panels first.

    • So, you don’t like the door texture and front end? get a grip, man. The door texture is far from looking like a golf ball and the front end has very similar proportions to the previous gen Escape. It’s on a different chassis. Get over it and stop whining.

  2. I also don’t care how much horsepower you add to one…the first time it hits a few high speed turns in succession…it’s all over…physics lads…physics…do right by the ST moniker please…

  3. Add the ST engine both transmissions, better brakes, Recaro seats, lower the Suspension stands. It gives Fiesta and Focus customers something to move up to and aftermarket companies something to build on 300hp hatch anybody??

  4. Make a Bronco Sport ST instead. In spite of higher pricing the Bronco Sport will out sell the Escape as soon as volume ramps up because of much better styling. The current Escape front end is the worst Ford styling mistake in a very long time.

    GM should learn from this and make the next Terrain look more rugged like a Bronco Sport.

    • Escape is more Steet, Tuner, Compact Hatch replacement, Bronco Sport is off road lifestyle not to the max vehicle. There’s room for both to exist together if you market them right

    • The Bronco Sport should have been called the Escape. I get it that the launch timing was off and Ford is hoping to garner more sales throwing “Bronco” in front of “Sport”, but I find it tacky. The current (new) “Escape” should have been an all new model. And I agree with others, the front end needs a little redo (I don’t think it was a complete botch) and the interior materials did miss the mark.

    • Get over the front styling. The proportions are actually very similar to the previous gen Escape; it’s just on a different chassis. I’ve never lost a sale because of how it looks; typically, my customers buy them BECAUSE they like the look. People always ask for the Escape loaners when their vehicle has to get services. Daily, I have to have our cleanup guy come to the showroom and wipe all the handprints off of it because so many customers like to look with their hands. A LOT of people trading in their 17-19 Escapes because they really like the 2020 model. YOU might have some fetish for hating a design just because it’s new and different, but don’t project that onto reality.

      • I agree the proportions overall are good, and everything but the front end is very good styling wise. But those giant headlights with the big, plain piece of plastic between them is just awful. It looks like some Euro Focus on stilts from the front. I really thought when I saw the first photos that it was mislabeled, and it was actually the new Focus wagon for Europe.

    • I do, all the Porsche front ends suck. Giant round/oval headlights are almost always ugly. Look at the Escape’s sales numbers, they are not good for a brand new model. How do you explain the poor sales?

  5. AWD huh. Did you move the converter out of the way from the PTU? I’LL bet you didn’t.
    You’re engineering needs some common sense. Heat cooks the PTU!

  6. Don’t understand why Ford US do not market a ST at present as it has been here in Europe since it’s launch. You can even get a PHEV ST. I own a manual one and my son own an Auto and they are brilliant. What a missed opportunity by US Marketing

  7. You’d think that would’ve been one of the first CUV models to get the ST treatment, rather than going straight to the bigger Edge and Explorer.

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