Ford unveiled the new-look Escape 4x4 at today's LA motor show and, while it may not be big news in Europe, it ought to be.
That's because the Escape is available as a petrol-electric hybrid, with a 2.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine mated to an electric motor that provides around another 94bhp.
The Escape is one of the most popular small SUVs in America, and while there are no plans to bring it to the UK, the technology used in the hybrid version could be making it across the Atlantic.
Ford insiders have admitted to Autocar that they are not ruling out a hybrid version of the forthcoming Mondeo if the market demands it – possibly by 2008. If it gets the go-ahead, the Blue Oval’s first European hybrid would use a version of the Escape's petrol-electric system.