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.”
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.
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.