2001 Ford Escape: Design
11 January 20002001 Ford Escape: Design
DETROIT, Jan. 11 -- "We studied customer lifestyles, needs and tastes in everything from cars and trucks to clothes when putting the Escape design renderings on paper. At the same time, there was never a doubt that the Escape had to convey a family resemblance to Ford's other SUVs. We believe that we have created both a tough SUV and a nimble vehicle that is suitable for practically any urban environment." - J Mays, Ford Motor Company vice president of Design * Designed to combine Ford's truck toughness with a refined sporty look * Forward-tilting stance, large wheel lips and wide body cladding give a functional, off-road-ready look * Two trim levels: XLS base model and XLT luxury package * Interior combines best-in-class roominess, function and convenience * Maximum flexibility with three front- and two rear-seat configurations * Fold-flat rear seat for enhanced cargo carrying capability * Roof rack with crossbars holds up to 100 pounds * Mountain bike mounting system offered to store two bikes in rear with hatch closed * Six-disc, in-dash CD player available Exterior The exterior of the Ford Escape is designed to provide a familiar tough Ford truck appearance. In the front, a wraparound front bumper fascia has large vertical brush guards and a honeycomb grille. The hood is slightly lowered in the front corners for improved visibility, yet the corners are still visible for easy parking. Escape stands 64 inches tall, giving the driver the command driving position desired in an SUV. It has a wide, 61.2-inch, track for a sturdy, aggressive stance and a 103.1-inch long wheelbase for a longer stride and smoother ride. The Escape XLS is equipped with standard 15-inch steel wheels, while the XLT offers standard 15- or optional 16-inch alloy wheels. The XLT model comes with standard fog lamps -- another sporty styling cue. Power sideview mirrors -- standard on XLT -- are designed for a large viewing surface area, vibration-limiting mounting and aerodynamic tuning for improved visibility in the rain and improved fuel economy. An adjustable roof rack is standard, offering customers the ability to secure up to 100 pounds of additional cargo and gear. Custom bike/ski brackets -- which fasten to the roof rack -- also are available through Ford dealers. The rear cargo area is accessed through an "easy open" liftgate or through the separate-opening rear glass. A rear wiper is standard. Escape will be sold in two trim levels. The XLS is the well-equipped base model. The XLT adds additional convenience features as standard equipment. Interior Escape's interior package is designed for maximum comfort, convenience and roominess. With the most spacious interior in its class at 132.9 cubic feet, it has enough room to carry five adults and their cargo. Entry and exit are aided by the vehicle's low sill height, wide door openings, assist grips and optional ss and an available 60/40 split fold- down rear bench. An extra-large full-length center console with floor shifter is standard. The driver position features a command-seating, height-adjustable seat, four-spoke steering wheel with optional speed controls and an instrument cluster with tachometer. Stalk controls include standard intermittent front and rear wiper operation. A floor console is standard and includes five cup holders (two at the rear of the console for rear seat passengers), a coin holder and an open storage bin for sunglasses, lip balm and the like. A larger floor console, standard with XLT models equipped with a V-6 engine, has two forward cup holders, two rear pop-out cup holders, an enclosed storage bin large enough for a handbag and a center armrest. Added storage is available under the front passenger seat. Two types of overhead console are available for XLT models. One features twin map lights and a single storage bin for sunglasses in combination with optional power moonroof. The console that comes without the moonroof has two storage bins. All audio and climate controls are located in the easy-to-reach and easy- to-read center stack. The center stack is oriented to the driver for superior ergonomics and is logically and ergonomically laid out with the more often used audio controls located above the climate controls. An in-dash single CD player is standard. Also available are a single CD/cassette (standard on the XLT) and an in-dash, six-disc CD changer. The split rear bench (standard on XLT) seats three adults and includes head restraints in the outboard positions. The seatbacks fold down and recline independently for unparalleled rear seat passenger comfort. Passengers in the outboard rear positions benefit from 36.9 inches of legroom and 49 inches of hip room. The rear seats also fold flat for enhanced cargo-carrying capability. The cargo area offers 34.8 cubic feet of space behind the rear seat and 68.5 cubic feet of space with the rear seat folded flat. Escape offers a low 25.4-inch liftover height and wide 40.7-inch opening. Two convenient storage bins and an elastic net with specially designed clips provide cargo control. An additional powerpoint is located in the rear cargo area for accessories such as air pumps, radios and lights. The cargo area is designed to meet a wide range of customer needs. A mountain bike mounting system, available through Ford dealers, attaches to the standard tie-down hooks and allows two mountain bikes to be secured in the rear with the hatch closed. The jack and lug wrench are fitted behind the rear finish panel. A space- saver spare tire is mounted under the cargo load floor for increased cargo space, ease of liftgate use and improved fuel economy.