Like many of today’s brands, the Ford Motor Company is doing its best to give the people what they want: SUVs. Slowly removing cars and adding more crossovers and SUVs, Ford is one of the top-selling SUV brands in the world. From family haulers to fuel minimizers and sporty performers, it appears Ford has an SUV for everyone. But while Ford has shown they can turn almost anything into a performance vehicle, a performance-based Ford Escape doesn’t seem to be in the plans.
Ford makes it official: fans shouldn’t hold their breath for a Ford Escape ST
While the Ford brand continues to reinvent itself with fewer cars and more SUVs, owners have more crossover and SUV choices than ever before, in the way of trims, performance, power, and more. But as an insider recently reported to Ford Authority, “a performance-oriented version of the Ford Escape – one that would be more colloquially known as a Ford Escape ST – is not part of Ford’s product plans.”
The announcement that Ford has no current plans to produce a performance-based Escape comes as a surprise for many, for many reasons. In fact, rumors of a Ford Escape ST have circulated for a couple of years now.
The Escape is one of Ford’s most popular vehicles in its crossover/SUV lineup. And as Ford has adapted the performance “ST” nameplate for quite a few of its vehicles already, the Escape would be assumed to be next in line. In fact, two cars and two SUVs are already offered in Ford’s “ST,” performance-based trim.
But it’s not just the Escape’s popularity and Ford’s growing “ST” lineup that had the world expecting a future Ford Escape ST. The Ford Motor Company did a decent job of setting those expectations and sparking rumors itself.
How Ford put the world on edge with hopes of a performance-based Escape
Rumors behind the production of a Ford Escape ST are far from far-fetched. In fact, it appears that the lack of a performance-based Escape is more a result of a change in plans, rather than rumor clarification.
According to Motor1, back in 2019, Ford released an ST version of the Escape’s European brother, the Kuga. Ford also made an announcement that it would be moving toward a car-less lineup by 2020, focusing solely on trucks, SUVs, and crossovers. By focusing on its SUV lineup, many made the assumption that more performance-based SUVs would be hitting American shores.
But these aren’t the only reasons the rumor of an ST model seemed valid. After all, Ford made an “ST” version of the Focus and Fiesta sedans, but also revealed performance-oriented, “ST” variants of Edge crossover and larger Explorer SUV as well. It seemed only appropriate that the Escape would join their ranks. All of these factors lead experts to believe that the Ford Escape ST may simply not be a consideration under the market’s current economic situation.
The possibilities of a high-performance Escape
According to Go Team Ford, the “ST” nameplate is given to vehicles made under the “Sport Technologies” division of “the Ford Performance family.” Vehicles that receive the “ST” badge from this more-modern branch are built with not just performance in mind, but also as much of “Ford’s new and noteworthy technologies as possible.”
The newest Ford Edge ST is the brand’s first SUV to be designed and manufactured by its Performance division. According to Ford, the Edge ST features a 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 engine that makes a potent 335 hp and is “the most powerful V6 engine available in its class.”
As the most comparable sibling to the Escape, experts expect that an ST model could offer similar specifications. And as the market for SUVs doesn’t appear to be dwindling any time soon, there may still be room in the future for a Ford Escape ST. You just may not want to hold your breath.