LA Auto Show: Ford debuts new Escape Hybrid

When we brought you the first shots of the 2008 Ford Escape last night, the Escape hybrid photos weren't available yet. That's been rectified, and you can check out more photos of the Ford's hybrid ute painted in Subliminal Message Green after the jump. To recap, the Escape Hybrid is a full hybrid vehicle -- a point Ford gleefully emphasizes in the press release with a (very) thinly veiled shot at GM's "mild" Green Line system seen in the current Saturn Vue and headed to the Aura. Unlike the GM cars, Escape Hybrid is capable of running solely on the electric motors at speeds up to 30 mph. Its 70 Kw electric motor and 2.3L four-cylinder combine to produce 155 horsepower and deliver performance numbers on par with a 200-horsepower gasoline V6. As a result, fuel economy during city driving is increased up to 75%.

The power is delivered to the wheels via a CVT, and for the '08 model, the transition between gasoline and electric modes has been made more seamless.

(More photos, relevant press release info after the jump)

[Source: Ford]

Full version here

Ford Escape Hybrid continues to be a "full" hybrid. This means that, unlike other "mild" hybrid vehicles, Escape Hybrid can run on 100 percent electric power up to about 30 mph, maximizing in-city fuel economy.

At low speeds, power is delivered by a permanent magnet AC synchronous electric motor, producing 70 kw @ 5,000 rpm and 330V maximum voltage. When additional power is required, the Escape Hybrid's 2.3-liter DOHC 16-valve Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine seamlessly engages, contributing 133 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 124 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,250 rpm. The net result is 155 horsepower with 0-60 times comparable to a 200 horsepower V-6 engine and a boost in city-driving fuel economy of nearly 75 percent. Escape Hybrids are equipped with a smooth-shifting, electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). .

For 2008, Escape Hybrid engineers made revisions to software in the control system to improve transparency, or the transition between gasoline and electric operation. The transition from all-electric to gasoline power to a combination of the two is now even more seamless and virtually imperceptible to the driver.

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