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Ford goes electric with 2020 Escape SUV

The all-new Ford Escape SUV will be the Blue Oval's first plug-in hybrid when it arrives in Australia in 2020, offering more than 50kms of pure EV driving.

Based on the brand's C2 platform, the new Escape will be Ford's first electrified vehicle in Australia, with a plug-in hybrid powertrain that pairs a 2.5-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine with a 165kW electric motor powered by a 14.4kWh lithium-ion battery.

Ford is promising a pure EV range of more than 50kms. Owners can recharge using a plug, or charge on the move using regenerative braking, and can choose between pure EV or petrol-and-motor power.

“We’re proud to bring the first of our global electrified vehicles to Australian customers in the stylish and capable all-new Escape,” says Ford Australia and New Zealand President and CEO, Kay Hart.

“Australians continue to embrace SUVs, which is why we are introducing our first plug-in hybrid powertrain with this vehicle.”

The Escape PHEV will sit on a longer wheelbase, but Ford was aiming for a more "energetic and nimble appearance". The SUV is now 44mm wider and 89mm longer, which translates into more space in the cabin - helped by the fact the second row of seating can slide fore or aft on rails.

“Escape customers have expressed that they are ready for even more emotional design, and our all-new Escape is a sculpture skilfully articulated. Visually sleeker, lower and wider – it makes you feel excited just by looking at it,” says Ford's European design director, Amko Leenarts.

“The all-new interior is a sanctuary space, designed to allow everyday life to happen. Harmonious and airy, it fuses premium materials, precise craftsmanship and state-of-the-art technology.”

The Ford Escape will launch in Australia in 2020, with pricing and specs yet to be confirmed. Conventional powertains will also be available, with diesel and petrol options confirmed in Europe, but Ford here is still confirming its final line-up.

What do you think of the new Escape? Tell us in the comments below.