According to Auto Express, we could see more versions of the Escape in the near future, including a hot ST model. The report actually surrounds the Kuga, but this European Ford is no different than the Escape that Ford offers here in the U.S.
Up until today, Ford has limited its ST badges to the Fiesta and Focus hatchbacks, but recent spy shots show that a Fusion ST may be in the works, and this report adds to the spreading of the ST name. According to the report, Ford’s European VP, Roelant de Waard, added fuel to the fire by saying, “With the maturing of the SUV segment increasingly we will see all derivatives come to that segment, and yes some are experimenting” in reference to performance crossovers.
This then leads us to what would power and ST version of the Escape. The current Escape tops out at 240 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque with its Ecoboost 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. To truly live up to the ST badge, Ford will have to push these bounds.
The engine of choice could possibly be the 2.3-liter Ecoboost found in the Mustang and the upcoming Focus RS. I highly doubt it would have the 350 horsepower of the RS, but it could use the 310 ponies found in the Mustang Ecoboost’s version of the engine. This would certainly add a little pep to the step of the Escape.
On top of a more potent powerplant, Ford would also need to do some tweaking to the Escape’s chassis. A stiffer suspension, larger brakes, wider wheels, and stickier rubber will all likely be on the table. I wouldn’t be shocked to see a revised all-wheel-drive system and an exclusive transmission offering too.
For now, this remains only a rumor, but with a Fusion ST clearly in the works, I don’t think it is too far off from reality. Stay tuned for more information.