IN THE WORLD OF MOTORS
Over the past four years, the number of all-terrain vehicles sold in the United States and Canada of the so-called compact class has doubled: from 250 thousand in 1995 to 500 thousand in 1999. A pioneer here was the Ford Explorer, which debuted back in 1991. The new Ford is the Escape all-terrain vehicle (translated as escape), which is somewhat more compact than the best-selling veteran, but it also belongs to the same class, addressed primarily to young motorists.
"Escape" is intended primarily for driving on good roads, as evidenced by quite "passenger" design independent suspension: front type "McPherson" with separately mounted shock absorbers and springs, and rear double wishbone. This front-wheel drive in the basic version of the car will be produced in all-wheel drive version. Which, however, is not surprising - Ford plans to export the car to more than 150 countries, and among them there will certainly be those where snow falls in winter.
Escape is built on a new platform developed in collaboration with Mazda. The body is made load-bearing - this contributes to a smooth ride and high passive safety. The development was carried out using computer technology, and along the way, Ford's employees were even able to patent two inventions related to passive safety. To improve handling, the Escape was equipped with rack and pinion steering.
The choice of power units is still small: only two engines are prepared for the machine. In the basic configuration, it is a four-cylinder Zetek with a volume of 2 liters (power 130 hp, torque 183 N.m) with a five-speed manual gearbox. Apparently, Ford is hoping to drive into the Old World with it: the engine is quite economical - the average fuel consumption is 8.4 l / 100 km. Another option is intended for the domestic market - a three-liter “six” “Duratek” with a capacity of 202 liters. pp., working in tandem with a five-speed "automatic". Such power, coupled with a torque of 271 N.m, is quite enough to tow a trailer weighing up to 1600 kg - a couple of jet skis or snowmobiles "pulls" about that - indispensable attributes of "outdoor activities".
“We are confident that Escape will attract a wide variety of customers, including those who have not previously thought about purchasing an all-terrain vehicle, ” said Ford Motor Vice President Jim O'Connor. Well, it’s hard to disagree. “Escape” is not as bulky and gluttonous as its “elder brothers” “Expedition” and “Excision”, but at the same time it is endowed with the appearance and driving characteristics characteristic of Ford off-road vehicles. And the firm promises a very affordable price for Escape.