In the spirit of continuous improvement, Ford is again updating the powertrain of its Escape/Mariner hybrids. After a thorough revamp just a year ago, the hybrid crossovers are now benefiting from the development work that went into creating the Fusion and Milan hybrids. The gas electric sedans got updated nickel metal hydride cells with 20 percent more power per cell. The same technology now resides in the Escape allowing the weight and size of the pack to be reduced.
The hybrid transmission has also been updated with some of the design changes from the sedans. It shares a common case with the sedans that provides improved cooling but the motors and gearing are optimized for the crossovers. The maximum electric drive speed has now been lifted from 40 to 44 mph. The EPA mileage numbers remain unchanged at 34 mpg city and 31 mpg highway.