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2008 Ford Escape gets new look

By Ed Hellwig
Inside Line


The grille and headlights of the 2008 Ford Escape look similar to those used on the 2007 Ford Expedition. (Photo courtesy of KGP Photography)

Ford is in the process of revamping nearly its entire lineup of SUVs, and from the looks of our latest spy photos the 2008 Ford Escape is next in line for upgrades. Although it doesn't appear to be a full redesign, the 2008 Escape will update its front-end styling to match the 2007 Ford Expedition. Larger headlights and a three-bar grille are the biggest changes, although the lower fascia and front wheel arches look as though they have been slightly revised as well.

Caught alongside the Escape prototype was a revamped version of its twin — the Mazda Tribute. It still wore heavy camouflage up front, but it's clear that the Tribute will be getting a nose job, too. Its lights don't look much different than the current model, but the shape of the grille is clearly different. Rear shots of the Tribute reveal only minor changes. The rear window is now rectangular, the chrome trim piece is a little bigger and the badges have swapped sides.

The mere existence of a Tribute prototype might come as a surprise to some after Mazda announced last month that it would not build 2007 model-year Tributes. Many considered it the end of the road for the Escape's low-volume twin. Now it looks as though the Tribute will simply skip the shortened 2007 factory run and start back up again when the new version begins production in January of 2007 as a 2008 model.

Look for the official debuts of both the 2008 Ford Escape and the 2008 Mazda Tribute at the New York auto show in April.


From this angle it doesn't appear as if the 2008 Ford Escape will get any bigger than the current model. (Photo courtesy of KGP Photography)


Minor modifications to the headlights and grille are evident under the camouflage of the 2008 Mazda Tribute. (Photo courtesy of KGP Photography)


Changes to the rear fascia of the Tribute include a squared-off window, revised taillights, bigger piece of chrome trim and relocated badges. (Photo courtesy of KGP Photography)
 

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2008 Ford Escape


Glenn Paulina / KGP Photography

Revamped '08 Ford Escape undergoes final tests

By Paul Lienert
The Detroit News

Weeks before its anticipated unveiling at the Los Angeles Auto Show, a prototype of Ford's revamped 2008 Escape has been captured without disguise as it undergoes final engineering tests.

Like its companion, the 2008 Mercury Mariner, the '08 Escape gets an extensive exterior update, as well as a new interior.

A 153-horsepower, 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine is standard, with an optional 200-horsepower 3.0-liter V-6 available. An update of the gas-electric Escape Hybrid is also planned. The '08 Escape will go on sale in spring, just a few months after the launch of the new 2007 Ford Edge crossover.
 
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