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Quick Escape Artist

Kenne Bell's Supercharged Ford SUV

Carl Calvert
Jun 17, 2004
The Ford Escape seen here is a fine example of Kenne Bell's talent and capabilities. The Escape's styling has been tweaked to better reflect its newfound prowess, but the real modifications lie under the Escape's hood. The big power-adder is a newly designed intercooled Kenne Bell Twin Screw 9-psi 1.5L Supercharger. This no-lag supercharger kit is designed to deliver instant full-boost throttle response, and the extra horsepower and torque are immediately available through the entire powerband of the engine. This can add as much as 100 hp for most vehicles with no additional modification.
Kenne Bell didn't stop with the supercharger in this install. A Kenne Bell intercooler was also bolted into place to keep things at a low temperature level, an Optimizer Engine Management System was put into place to take care of the electronics, a Boost-A-Pump adds some additional performance cues, and a Kenne Bell shift-improvement kit was installed to make the most of that newfound power. In addition, a Kenne Bell Cool Air kit was also included in the mix, as were a set of Denso Iridium Spark Injectors and a set of Kenne Bell 30-pound fuel injectors. Lastly, an after-cat MagnaFlow exhaust system was bolted into place to better facilitate exhaling exhaust.
So, what was the result of all these careful ministrations on the Escape's 3.0L V-6 powerplant? Well, in stock condition, the Escape ran to the tune of 139 hp (checked at the rear wheels) and 158 lb-ft of torque on the Kenne Bell dyno. With the supercharger and intercooler in place, the Escape again spun its wheels with dramatic results. Final horsepower checked in at 230 ponies and 232 lb-ft of torque. This converts to 287 engine hp and 290 lb-ft of torque at the flywheel. Zero to 60 and quarter-mile times also improved dramatically. Stock 0-60 runs clocked a 9.0-second time and a 16.7-second quarter-mile at 83 mph. After strapping on the supercharger and intercooler, that time was improved to a 5.6-second quarter-mile and a 14.4-second 96-mph quarter-mile -- definitely an Escape with a quick-escape attitude!
The Escape's exterior attitude was also spruced up to tell the casual onlooker that it means business. The compact Ford SUV was lowered 2 inches up front and 3 inches in the rear with Eibach springs for a more hunkered-down stance and outfitted with an upgraded set of rolling stock for some extra style. Colorado Custom Deltona wheels measuring 18x8 inches are wrapped by P295/45R18 Goodyear Eagle GS tires. Rounding out the exterior styling cues is a pair of gold racing stripes laid down by Fineline.
After driving the Kenne Bell Escape for a week, we had to readily admit it was one of the fastest SUVs we've had the pleasure of testing. Acceleration is dramatic and immediate, and the supercharged powerplant offers a very quick response with minimal noise and virtually no boost lag. The company is well-known for creating some very quick SUVs and trucks, by outfitting them with the impressive and extensive array of performance products Kenne Bell stocks in its warehouse. If there was an Escape from the norm, this fast Ford is definitely a leading candidate. *

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