An ST-Line model is being added as part of the mid-cycle refresh for 2023.
Ford says a more powerful ST model is not in the cards.
The automaker expects the ST-Line version to account for about 50% of Escape sales.
The recent launch of the facelifted 2023 Ford Escape introduced the sporty-looking ST-Line model, which many believed would lead to a more powerful ST version.
According to the automaker, however, this will not happen. Indeed, Ford says an Escape that is more powerful than the version equipped with the 2.0L engine is not in the works.
This means that the Escape is now the only model to offer an ST-Line model but not a full-fat ST version.
Traditionally, ST models were more powerful and more dynamic versions of regular Ford vehicles while the more affordable ST-line models took on the same exterior appearance without offering increased performance.
Another way in which the new Escape differs from other Ford vehicles is that its ST-Line version is actually three separate trim levels, called ST-Line, ST-Line Select, and ST-Line Elite.
This will help ST-Line branded Escape models account for about half of all sales of the compact crossover, according to Ford.
Despite comments that had been made a few years ago, the automaker says not to expect an Escape ST anytime soon because customers aren’t interested in such a vehicle. According to Ford, the buyers looking at an Escape are satisfied with the sporty appearance of the ST-Line and the 250-horsepower output of the 2.0L engine.
This might be true in North America, but there seems to be a market for a sporty SUV of the sort in Europe since Volkswagen is already selling an R version of the Tiguan there. Interestingly, the German automaker won’t bring this model to America, but it is working on a version of the Tiguan with 100 to 150 horsepower more than the current model that is destined for our shores.
Only time will tell if this convinces Ford to reassess its strategy and introduce a dedicated sports version of the Escape in the coming years.
Source: Ford Authority