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Discussion Starter #1
http://www.hybridford.com describes the Escape HEV. Salient facts that I garnered:

1) Available sometime in 2003.
2) Price not yet set
3) Target MPG: 40 city, 29 highway
4) Towing: 1000 lbs
5) Technology: separate motor and generator with planetary gear, Atkinson cycle engine
6) Stealth mode: Yes!

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Shocking and encouraging. Everything I had read up until now suggested a very mild hybrid, basically using regenerated energy to run the radio.

The stated technology and MPG spread suggest that they're modeling this closer to Prius rather than the Honda IMA. A city rating of 40 (or even 30+) in a smaller SUV would be remarkable.
 
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So if any of us get one of these, we've got to think of a bumper sticker to put on on it so that our environmentalist friends and neighbors don't think we've sold out.

How about,

"My other car is a hybrid too"

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The Escape will likely be available in 2004, with a symbolic late 2003 release.
My response from ford is archived below.
<http://www.priusonline.com/read.php?f=5&i=48&t=48>
 
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