Ford finally joins the push towards electrification with a plug-in hybrid version of the new Escape.

Ford’s first PHEV in Australia will have a fully-electric driving range of in excess of 50km depending of course on conditions and how it is driven.

Drivers can choose when and how to deploy stored battery power, with a variety of drive modes, including EV Auto, EV Now, EV Later and EV Charge modes.

When the battery reaches its lowest state-of-charge, the system automatically reverts to EV Auto mode, which supplements petrol engine power with electric motor assistance using recaptured energy to optimise fuel-efficiency.

The hybrid system consists of a 2.5-litre, four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle petrol engine, electric motor and generator, and 14.4kWh lithium-ion battery to produce 165kW.

The Ford Escape PHEV’s battery can be recharged using an integrated charging port, and is automatically replenished on the move with regenerative charging technology that captures kinetic energy normally lost during braking.

The all-new Escape is 44mm wider and 89mm longer than the current model, with a 20mm longer wheelbase.

That translates to 43mm additional shoulder room and 57mm more hip room in the front seats, while rear passengers benefit from 20mm more shoulder room and 36mm more hip room.

Despite being 20mm lower, new Escape also brings 13mm more headroom for front seat occupants and 35mm additional space in the rear.

For rear seat passengers, the entire second row of seats can be moved forwards or backwards to increase legroom or boot space.

A remote release function enables the second row to be folded flat with ease.

The new Escape is due in Australia next year, with prices and full specification to be revealed closer to launch date.

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.