Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. This week: Ford debuts new Escape that can do many crossover type things or something, Ford reveals the new Super Duty’s insane power and payload/tow ratings, Honda prices the Civic Type-R but markups make that irrelevant, Ford is saying goodbye to the Fiesta in Europe, plus your news for the week.
2023 Ford Escape
There’s a thorough overhaul coming for Ford’s compact SUV next year. The Escape comes with new styling, three ST-Line trims, new tech, more driver assistance systems, and two hybrid options.
The new styling fits well into Ford’s latest design language. That includes U-shaped running lights, a giant ass grille, and an upscaled interior. Ford is also adding the sporty ST-Line appearance package in a few different levels as they’ve been doing for a few other models. That adds a series-specific black mesh grille, unique rear skid plate, and a roof spoiler regardless of which ST-Line is selected. The interior on these models is black with red contrast stitching on the door, seats, center arm rest, floor mats, and the flat-bottom steering wheel. The Escape rides on either 18″ Rock Metallic-painted aluminum wheels or 19″ Machine-Faced Ebony-painted aluminum wheels depending on the trim.
The standard ST-Line is equipped with a 1.5-liter EcoBoost with 180 horsepower and FWD or available AWD as well as a hybrid powertrain with FWD. The ST-Line Select and ST-Line Elite are equipped with a 2.0-liter EcoBoost producing 250 horsepower and AWD in addition to a hybrid option as well. Outside of the ST-Lines there’s the Base, Escape Active, Platinum, and Plug-in Hybrid models. The Base and Active models come with the 1.5L and FWD or AWD. Platinum comes with the 2.0L and AWD or a hybrid powertrain with FWD or AWD available.
Both the hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid powertrains consist of a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle gas engine with Ford’s fourth-gen hybrid propulsion system paired with CVT. The hybrid model with FWD targets a range of more than 550 miles per tank. The Plug-in Hybrid is targeting a 37-mile driving range on battery power alone and charge times as little as 3.5 hours with a 240-volt level 2 charger. Every Escape regardless of its equipped engine and drivetrain should get well over 400 miles per tank.
New amenities include a 13.2″ center screen as standard plus an available 12.3″ digital instrument panel, rear parking sensors, 360-degree camera, and a wireless charging pad. New safety features include Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go, Predictive Speed Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Braking, Reverse Brake Assist, Evasive Steering Assist, and Connected Built-in Navigation.
The new Escape will continue to be built at the Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky and is available now. According to Ford’s configurator, pricing ranges from $27,500 for the Base all the way to $38,500 for the Plug-in Hybrid.
Ford Super Duty’s specs are immense
Ford debuted the new 2023 F-Series Super Duty a month ago but are just now able to confirm some important specifications, such as its engines and its payload and towing capacities. They can best be described as immense. Production will begin in the coming months with deliveries planned for early 2023. The base price is $43,970 plus $1,795 for destination and delivery – but as you can imagine, that price climbs incredibly quick.
Starting with the engines – two gas engines and one diesel with two different outputs are available. The base engine is a 6.8-liter gas-powered V8 with 405 horsepower and 445 lb.-ft. of torque. If that’s not enough, the 7.3-liter “Godzilla” V8 offers 430 horsepower and 485 lb.-ft. of torque. Step up to the diesels and the numbers increase significantly. The 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 diesel is available in two outputs – “standard” and High Output. The standard engine produces 475 horsepower and 1,050 lb.-ft. of torque while the High Output Power Stroke pumps out 500 horsepower and 1,200 lb.-ft. of torque.
Now this is where things get a little convoluted. Towing and payload is what a truck like this is designed for, so the numbers are very impressive but of course vary wildly based on how the truck is configured. The headlines state a best-in-class payload of 8,000 pounds and best-in-class towing of 40,000 pounds. Each of those numbers was taken from a very specific truck. The 8,000 pounds payload is with an F-350 DRW Regular Cab 4×2 XL trim with the Heavy-Duty Payload Package and one of the gas engines. The 40,000 pounds gooseneck tow rating is only available on a F-450 Regular Cab with the 6.7L HO diesel and the Max Tow Package. There are a metric shit load of combinations for this truck and I’m not covering all of them. If you’re looking for a specific rating, you’ll have to wait for Ford to release the spec sheet for the entire lineup. Will that stop Billy from overloading the shit out of his F-250 King Ranch that he financed for 84 months and losing control down a grade? Probably not. Don’t be a Billy.
Ford already has the 2023 Super Duty configurator online so you can go play with the numerous options there and see how many organs you’ll need to sell.
Honda Civic Type-R starts at $43,990*
*You won’t be getting a Type-R at MSRP. But the smaller of the two numbers you’ll see on a window sticker will be its official $43,990 starting price, and that includes destination charges. That’s a price jump of roughly five grand over the last generation model.
I haven’t driven the new or the old Type-R so I can’t say if the improvements are worth the extra money. But I suspect dealer greed may have convinced Honda to take a bigger piece for themselves by raising the price even further. Or it really is just that much better. Knowing Honda and the care and attention they devote to their sports cars, it’s probably the latter if I’m being honest. With 315 horsepower, making it the most powerful production Honda ever sold in the US, and numerous enhancements to its chassis and aerodynamics, anyone who can manage to find one for under $100,000 is in for a good time. Which is to say no one.
The Ford Fiesta is gone for good
Even though the Fiesta and Focus got axed in the US a few years ago, new versions of both charged on in Europe where their compact size and efficiency was more appreciated. But the Fiesta is not long for this world over there either. Ford Europe has confirmed the Fiesta will be no more after the 2023 model year. It ends a 47-year production run next summer.
Ford didn’t go into specifics as to why it’s being killed off. Looking at European sales figures in CarSalesBase reveals that it’s slipped a fair bit the last three years. From roughly 229k in 2019 to 86,000 in 2021 and even fewer so far in 2022, it still isn’t as bad of a sales performance as it had here in the US. But Ford seems to think it’s no longer worth it. They hinted at its replacement being some sort of electric compact instead. Probably one that’s of a similar size but slightly taller. Why they couldn’t just make the Fiesta electric and cash in on its brand recognition is one of life’s great mysteries. Either way, RIP little Fiesta. You were fun, practical, and good at your job. It’s just a shame you weren’t an egg-shaped crossover instead, then people would’ve really loved you.
What’s your automotive news?
That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.
Have a good weekend.