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Ford video shows new Escape with hands-free hatch

Ford released a video today of the new Escape model, which will debut at the 2011 Los Angeles auto show.

Ford Escape
Ford reveals a little of the new Escape's styling in its video about the hands-free rear hatch.
Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The new Escape model, debuting at the 2011 Los Angeles auto show, will feature a rear hatch that opens with a kick.

To show off its new hands-free hatch on the upcoming 2012 Escape, Ford released a video where people try to figure out how to open it. The hatch, when someone kicks a foot underneath the rear of the car, seems like an especially useful feature for people laden with suitcases, babies, and groceries.

But the video inadvertently suggests that this feature is not very intuitive, as the first person approaches the car and can't figure out how to open the hatch without touching it.

More interesting, though, are the hints given for the styling of the new Escape. The car in the video is heavily clad so as not to reveal its exterior look, and the videographer is careful not to show the sides or front of the car. But we do get a look into the cargo area.

The rear hatch shape is much curvier than on the current Escape, revealing that this model will be a radical change. The interior sides of the cargo area also show a modern, curved structure.

Ford says the new Escape will be powered with a choice of three engines. Two of those will be Ford's new 1.6-liter and 2-liter EcoBoost engines. With direct injection and turbocharging, Ford says these engines will get better fuel economy than larger engines from competitors.

The new Ford Escape will be shown at the 2011 Los Angeles auto show beginning on November 18. CNET's coverage will begin during the press preview on November 16.