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WhatsNew
News and Info

Registered: Jan 2002
Location:
Posts: 341

Arrow 2005 New Ford Escape Design

Coming Soon
The 2005 Escape Redesign:
__ ... What Will It Look Like ?


Early next year Ford will introduce a redesigned Escape. Official Ford documents say the new design will begin appearing in showrooms "in the first quarter" of 2004 as a 2005 model. While this news is not a huge secret, what these new Escapes will actually look like and exactly how changed they will be from the original design is somewhat hush hush.

The Escape pictured above is the prototype Euro version called Maverick. This could be a good preview of what the upcoming redesign will look like. Note how newly freshened Land Rover Freelander (redesigned 2004 model pictured below) echos Escape and Maverick design cues.

  • Interesting Factoid
    Coincidence? Though the two vehicles will share frameworks after the next major product redesign they are unrelated (except for the design cues) as of now.


Next up on the slate... Sometime after the 2005 model year redesign, Ford will begin building Escape on the same platform as the Land Rover Freelander SUV. Ford owns Land Rover and maximizing profits and economies of scale will require Ford to pare down the number of platforms they use to produce these vehicles. Pictured above is the redesigned Freelander. This is the new 2004 model. Similar to the upcoming Escape, Freelander got new external bodywork this year.





Ford may consider creating an Escape "Sport" model featuring a design similar to this cool looking chop back design recently shown at various shows by AWR products. With the demise of the Explorer Sport this year, Ford may want to fill this segment by offering more variety in the Escape lineup.


Escape Redesign Goals:
  • Freshened Facia
    Create a new look, but new look must continue to emphasize classic Ford family truck design cues

  • Upgraded Interior and Exterior
    Including aforementioned new look facia, more comfortable seats and new trim colors and materials

  • New Model Marketing Mix
    Selective colors and new model specifications optimized for on-road driving performance and customer demand





______

Updated Escapes and the new Mercury Mariner will feature floor mounted shifters. The Mariner (pictured) will be Mercury's entry level model and it is based on the Ford Escape. The Mariner features a Unibody construction, four-wheel independent suspension and a choice of either a 2.3-litre 16-valve I-4 or a 3.0-litre 24-valve V-6 Duratec engine. Both engines come with a standard 4-speed automatic transaxle. The all-new 2005 Mercury Mariner will be produced at the Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake and will go on sale in late 2004.




_______







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WhatsNew is offline Old Post 08-19-2003 01:33 PM
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RjTribute
[shift] 2nd Gear!

Registered: Jul 2002
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Posts: 206

What's with this American obsession with "floor mounted shifters"? They cramp precious leg room, require your hand to be a long way from the steering wheel, where it ought to be All the time, and are no easier to use than the current set-up.
A good automatic shifter doesn't need anything more than a simple selector to put it in "D" or "R"- even a button would be O.K. - now there's a blast from Chyslers past!

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RjTribute is offline Old Post 08-19-2003 04:07 PM
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RjTribute
[shift] 2nd Gear!

Registered: Jul 2002
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Posts: 206

P.S. The Euro 'Maverick' prototype has that in-your-face 'tough' look. I'd be happy if Escapes and Tributes went down that path - with a 3.5 l V6 (with fully variable intake and outlet manifolds) and an excellent COLUMN selected 6 speed automatic - naturally with a low-range. : praise:

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RjTribute is offline Old Post 08-19-2003 04:14 PM
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Fitzy
Hyperdrive

Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Daylesford VIC Australia
Posts: 7898

quote:
Originally posted by RjTribute
What's with this American obsession with "floor mounted shifters"? They cramp precious leg room, require your hand to be a long way from the steering wheel, where it ought to be All the time, and are no easier to use than the current set-up.
A good automatic shifter doesn't need anything more than a simple selector to put it in "D" or "R"- even a button would be O.K. - now there's a blast from Chyslers past!


Well . . . I don't know that it's an American obsession, but I agree that the column shifter is fine for an auto. Let's face it we drop it into "D" and leave it there for the whole journey.

However. Since they took 50 years to incorporate cup holders WHY don't they (all manufacturers) yet realise that almost everyone has a cell phone hands-free to accomodate?

Why can't they provide a generic platform or space or even an accessory bracket where you can screw down your cell phone cradle and hook into wiring already provided in the wiring loom? (Power, volume drop in the radio when a call comes in, and even an inbuilt antennae wire)?

Okay . . Okay . . I feel better now. Not the white coat again! (Sigh) bye . . .


__________________

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HAD a 2003/4 ZA RHD Ford Escape XLT
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Quicksilver color. No mods other than headlight upgrade and "Green" front brakepads to get rid of black dust.
2006/7 - Ssangyong Rexton-II (SUV) Mod is airbags and chrome valve caps.
2007/8 - SsangYong Musso Sports - diesel/gas kit - airbags - exhaust mod 3"

2009 Hyundai iLoad (H1)

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Fitzy is offline Old Post 08-19-2003 04:31 PM
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FSTHAULR
2nd Gear

Registered: May 2003
Location: Montgomery, AL
Posts: 251

When I saw the interior pic of the Mariner, that's the first thing that popped into my head: what's with the floor shifters?!? One of the reasons I love the Escape over the other mini-utes is the fact that it has the column shifter!

Chris


__________________
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FSTHAULR is offline Old Post 08-19-2003 05:08 PM
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SullyND
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quote:
Originally posted by Fitzy
Why can't they provide a generic platform or space or even an accessory bracket where you can screw down your cell phone cradle and hook into wiring already provided in the wiring loom? (Power, volume drop in the radio when a call comes in, and even an inbuilt antennae wire)?


Hard-wiring will be a problem in that there is no standard for how it could be done, however, some manufacturers (Lexus at least) have started to incorporate bluetooth into their cars for this purpose. You can stash the phone where you want, even leave it in your pocket. I'm surprised no one has made a nav system that can sync with a PDA... It would be great to have a BT car, Phone, and PDA and be able to pull up contacts, make calls, etc from the NAV screen without wires.

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Old Post 08-19-2003 05:45 PM
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Fitzy
Hyperdrive

Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Daylesford VIC Australia
Posts: 7898

quote:
Originally posted by SullyND
Hard-wiring will be a problem in that there is no standard for how it could be done, however, some manufacturers (Lexus at least) have started to incorporate bluetooth into their cars for this purpose. You can stash the phone where you want, even leave it in your pocket. I'm surprised no one has made a nav system that can sync with a PDA... It would be great to have a BT car, Phone, and PDA and be able to pull up contacts, make calls, etc from the NAV screen without wires.

Sorry. I didn't mean a universal electrical socket fitting as I'm aware there's no standard on the phone interfaces. But they all run off 12VDC feed, have a remote microphone, usually a remote speaker and an antenna.

My 2001 (Australian) Ford Fairmont had a fold out arm (which went into the centre console when put out of sight) with a pad area to screw on whatever phone cradle you had. The wiring loom included the power feed and the radio had the connection to cut the program when the phone rang or you called out.

So it almost had everything. It would help if vehicles today at least had a flat area somewhere on the dashboard (within the drivers reach) which was substantial enough to screw into, for mounting "stuff" like a phone cradle.

That Bluetooth idea sounds good. My phone is bluetooth capable. I take it that when the phone is in the proximity then it is "connected" and that the antennae and microphone and seperate speaker are connected to the bluetooth box so that it communicates bi-directionally with the phone.

In other words I guess the bluetooth aspect just replaces the need to cradle the phone. However what about keeping the phone charged up? If you need to run a connection for that you may as well have the wired in cradle I guess.

The other interfaces you mention like PDA and NAV are intriguing.

Cheers


__________________

Australians do it - umop apisdn
Daylesford Australia is currently:


HAD a 2003/4 ZA RHD Ford Escape XLT
V6 AWD all (production) options (incl sunroof) except leather and side impact bags.
Quicksilver color. No mods other than headlight upgrade and "Green" front brakepads to get rid of black dust.
2006/7 - Ssangyong Rexton-II (SUV) Mod is airbags and chrome valve caps.
2007/8 - SsangYong Musso Sports - diesel/gas kit - airbags - exhaust mod 3"

2009 Hyundai iLoad (H1)

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Fitzy is offline Old Post 08-19-2003 06:11 PM
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ttuRuss
4th Gear

Registered: Jun 2002
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 431

Floor shifters are much better in my opnion. The colum mounted one jsut gets in the way of other things like radio and ac. Also, a floor mounted is better for acceleration. Much easier to shift the floor mounted one over the colum. Although this wouldnt be a problem if our transmisions shifted correctly


__________________
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ttuRuss is offline Old Post 08-19-2003 06:40 PM
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Doofus
Platinum Member

Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Owings mills, MD
Posts: 663

I really like the column shifter conisdering how I have so much extra room between the seats.


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Doofus is offline Old Post 08-19-2003 09:32 PM
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Ericson12
2nd Gear

Registered: Dec 2001
Location: Lost in the Burbs
Posts: 294

quote:
Originally posted by ttuRuss
Floor shifters are much better in my opnion. The colum mounted one jsut gets in the way of other things like radio and ac. Also, a floor mounted is better for acceleration. Much easier to shift the floor mounted one over the colum. Although this wouldnt be a problem if our transmisions shifted correctly


There was an article in one of the auto magazines complaining about the Escape column mounted shifter. They said that any 4X4 that wants any respect at all in terms of some offroad ability needed to have a floor mounted shifter since you could end up accidentally shifting into the wrong gear if you have your hand on the column shifter while you are trying to navigate over some bumpy area.

They said it was more stable & natural to have the shifter on the floor beside you than to have it mounted vertically in a side to side up/down motion which was not good for 4X4 navigation. Makes sense to me.

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Ericson12 is offline Old Post 08-19-2003 10:44 PM
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FSTHAULR
2nd Gear

Registered: May 2003
Location: Montgomery, AL
Posts: 251

That would make sense to me, too...if I ever planned to make the Escape a dedicated, ........ off-roader. But it already has so much going against it that I wouldn't bother. I think the column shifter is fine for the light-duty applications that the engineers had in mind. Of course, I'm sure compromises are always made, too.

Chris


__________________
2003 Escape XLT 4x4 (Black)
- APC windshield washer LEDs (white)
- AutoVentshade Bugflector II
- Draw-Tite in-channel window deflectors
- K&N drop-in filter replacement
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Coming Soon:
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FSTHAULR is offline Old Post 08-19-2003 11:35 PM
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KimieKat76
Hyperdrive

Registered: Apr 2003
Location:
Posts: 10835

Shifting issues

I have had a car with a floor shifter and I have to admit I loved it and one issue I had with the Escape was getting used to the shifter on the steering column.

I have to admit it took some getting used to but I have no problem changing gears or shifting my wipers on. I do not get them confused nor do I have issues when off roading. I think it is really a matter of change and people being used to one way of doing things. Regardless it works fine and perfectly well for me.


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KimieKat76 is offline Old Post 08-19-2003 11:51 PM
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Spork
Platinum Member

Registered: Feb 2002
Location: Texas, USA
Posts: 549

Talking I'll take one -- better yet, make it 2!

Originally posted by WhatsNew
Coming Soon
The 2005 Escape Redesign:
__ ... What Will It Look Like ?





I'll have 2 of these to go please (and hopefully Ford will add the horsepower boost new V6 engines discussed earlier).


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Spork is offline Old Post 08-20-2003 12:26 PM
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Fitzy
Hyperdrive

Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Daylesford VIC Australia
Posts: 7898

quote:
Originally posted by Ericson12
There was an article in one of the auto magazines complaining about the Escape column mounted shifter. They said that any 4X4 that wants any respect at all in terms of some offroad ability needed to have a floor mounted shifter since you could end up accidentally shifting into the wrong gear if you have your hand on the column shifter while you are trying to navigate over some bumpy area.

They said it was more stable & natural to have the shifter on the floor beside you than to have it mounted vertically in a side to side up/down motion which was not good for 4X4 navigation. Makes sense to me.


I'm not sure that the Escape seeks more respect interms of off-road ability as doesn't appear to be designed for heavy-duty off-road use. It's a wonder that the writer of that article wasn't more critical of the lack of a low-ratio if they were questioning it's off-road ability.

I guess also if they were concerned that you "could end up accidentally shifting into the wrong gear if you have your hand on the column shifter while you are trying to navigate over some bumpy area" then the same thing would be true of a floor shifter (depending on the gate pattern).

The "more stable & natural to have the shifter on the floor beside you" seems to me to be purely habit because the very earliest vehicles (manual trans) had to have the floor shifter operating directly on the gear selectors especially in pre-synchomesh days.

Later, complex linkages moved the shifter to the steering column but that introduction caused the small freeplay at each joint in the shifting mechanism to be cumulative and magnified which made the (manual) column shift feel sloppy and imprecise. You had to use the manual column shift frequently (unlike an auto) but it didn't feel as precise as a floor shift with no extra linkages.

Nowadays the (auto) floor console shifter merely emulates where the manual shifter was traditionally sited, but (since it doesn't need frequent manipulation) it could easily be replaced by buttons or a lever on the dashboard (and has been from time to time).

Regarding the comment (better to) "have the shifter on the floor beside you than to have it mounted vertically in a side to side up/down motion which was not good for 4X4 navigation"

To pursue the argument of off-road bumps affecting the planes on which the two operate i.e. forward and back (in an arc) versus side to side (in an arc).

Maybe (tongue firmly planted in cheek here) we could also be critical of the traditional steering wheel orientation being no good for 4x4 navigation. The almost vertical position of the steering wheel similarly requires an up/down arc motion to turn it so it would also suffer from the driver being bumped around. Therefore wouldn't the steering wheel be better in horizontal plane like in a bus or like the centre console shifter?

Jeeeezzz! Fitzy you go on and on with some nonsense yawwwwnnn!!

Okay - I better go now, the nurse is here with my tablets.


__________________

Australians do it - umop apisdn
Daylesford Australia is currently:


HAD a 2003/4 ZA RHD Ford Escape XLT
V6 AWD all (production) options (incl sunroof) except leather and side impact bags.
Quicksilver color. No mods other than headlight upgrade and "Green" front brakepads to get rid of black dust.
2006/7 - Ssangyong Rexton-II (SUV) Mod is airbags and chrome valve caps.
2007/8 - SsangYong Musso Sports - diesel/gas kit - airbags - exhaust mod 3"

2009 Hyundai iLoad (H1)

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Fitzy is offline Old Post 08-20-2003 02:46 PM
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