Ford’s push for innovation has yielded SYNC with MyFord Touch, as well as the fuel-efficient and powerful EcoBoost engines. The automaker’s latest advancement is of particular significance to New England drivers dealing with winter weather: an available intelligent all-wheel-drive system for the 2013 Ford Escape. The next-generation Escape, due to reach Ford dealerships this spring, will use a host of software and sensors to distribute power in ways that previous models could not, offering owners added confidence when the roads get slippery.
Ford’s intelligent all-wheel-drive system is capable of not only sending all of the vehicle’s torque to either the front or rear axles, but also dividing it between the two to provide optimum traction in all conditions. To do this, the 2013 Ford Escape gathers information from 25 external signals to assess not only which direction the vehicle is moving, but where the driver wants to go, distributing power as needed to change trajectory.
“Ford’s new all-wheel-drive system can assess conditions 20 times faster than the blink of an eye, so it is already reacting before drivers even know what they are getting themselves into.” said Alan Melkonian, owner and general manager of Massachusetts Ford dealer Stoneham Ford. “That makes it ideal for battling the crazy New England weather, but the system even improves handling during the dry, mild days that we’ve been having this winter.”
The 2013 Escape’s intelligent all-wheel-drive system isn’t the only new piece of innovative technology added as part of the redesign. In addition to its standard 2.5-liter engine, Ford’s compact SUV will be available with two EcoBoost engines that promise greater fuel economy without sacrificing power. A 1.6-liter EcoBoost powerplant will likely be the most fuel-efficient option in the Escape, while the most powerful unit will be the 2.0-liter EcoBoost, estimated to deliver 237 horsepower. Official EPA fuel-economy estimates have yet to be released, but Ford is expecting the new model being up to 5 mpg more fuel efficient than the current model.
Power and fuel efficiency are important, but a compact SUV also needs to offer utility. With that in mind, Ford Escape engineers also developed optional features like a hands-free liftgate that opens itself with the wave of a foot under the rear bumper, meaning drivers don’t have to put down their groceries. Also available is the SYNC with MyFord Touch system, which enables voice control of the stereo, climate control and navigation, as well as phone apps like Pandora internet radio when connected to a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone.
Ford hopes the next-generation Escape will build on the popularity of the current model, which, despite being at the end of its run, continues to sell well. More than 17,000 Escape models were sold in January, leading to a 24-percent increase compared to same month last year and setting a new January sales record for the compact utility.
“Regardless of future updates, buyers already love the Escape, and we’re seeing a lot of traffic in our showroom as people snap up the remaining models,” Melkonian noted. “With production of the 2013 model year starting up, it will be harder and harder to get 2012 models, so buyers with a preference for the outgoing drivetrains will want to act sooner rather than later.”
About Stoneham Ford:
Located on Route 28, just 15 minutes north of Boston, Stoneham Ford is a premier new and used Ford dealer in Massachusetts. They offer a wide selection of Ford cars, trucks and SUVS, including the latest Ford hybrid models, and their helpful sales and service staff serve their customers with integrity and respect. For more information and to view the current Ford inventory, visit Stoneham Ford online at www.stonehamford.com, or in person at 211 Main St. in Stoneham, Massachusetts. They can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MyStonehamFord, and you can reach them by phone at 781-438-0490.