LA Auto Show Live: new Ford Flex, the 2013 Escape, and Focus ST image

At the 2011 LA Auto Show, Ford unveiled the reinvented 2013 Escape SUV — the fifth-best-selling vehicle in the U.S. In addition, the 2013 Ford Flex made its public debut.

The Ford Escape is getting a long overdue makeover, ditching its boxy styling for a sleek look that Ford hopes will outshine competitors like Toyota RAV4 and the new CR-V from Honda.

The truck-like looks aren’t the only thing the 2013 Ford Escape got rid of though. Gone is the hybrid variant, replaced by two option EcoBoost engines (1.6 and 2.0 liter) as well as a 2.5-liter V6 engine.

The 2.0-liter EcoBoost will deliver up to 5 mpg more than the outgoing Escape, and is expected to deliver 2 MPG more than Honda CRV or Toyota RAV4. Bold claims, to be sure, and the idea of a turbocharged small SUV is something that no other automaker (except the Kia Sportage) currently offers.
Ford expects more than 80% of Escape buyers to choose an EcoBoost. The new Escape is expected to get up to 33 m.p.g. on the highway, up from 28 m.p.g. in the 2011 model.
The Escape outsold the CR-V 206,896 to 180,361 in the U.S. through October, according to researcher Autodata Corp. of Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey. The CR-V outsold the Escape for the previous five years.

Moving to the new Flex model — Ford has given the Flex new muscle for 2013, both visually, and under the hood.

The base model Flex is powered by a 285-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6. That’s up 23 horsepower over the Flex’s current base V-6, a result of adding variable camshaft timing and other tweaks.
Ford’s 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine also is available. It produces 355 hp and 350 pounds-feet of torque. Both engines come with a six-speed SelectShift Automatic transmission.

The Flex also sports new tech and safety improvements including MyFord Touch 2.0, and the seatbelt airbags from the 2012 Ford Explorer.