FORD Escape is once again the official chase vehicle of the 15th Philippine Hot-Air Balloon Fiesta

For the past 15 years, besides being the “love” month, February is also synonymous to hot-air balloons and flying. From February 11 to 14, at the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga, over 25 hot-air balloons were gladly seen by thousands of spectators during the 15th Philippine International Hot-Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHABF). On the ground however, as in previous years, the new Ford Escape will likewise make an entrance as the event’s official chase crew-vehicle.

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Aptly entitled "A Weekend of Everything that Flies," a lot of exciting activities were lined up during the 4-day event, not to mention the many shapes and sizes of the newest hot-air balloon designs, set to color the skies of the weekend.

During each dawn of the four-day event, a dozen or so balloons, with sizes ranging from 60,000 to 140,000 cubic feet and about 60 to 90 feet high delighted the spectators. Each balloon, depending on the mix of temperature and wind speed, will fly roughly at a speed of 24 kilometers per hour from the launch site.

As these balloons decorate once again the Pampanga skies, with their courses and destinations generally chartered by the wind, a different kind of beauty decorates the ground as Ford, the official chase crew-vehicle, is tasked anew to immediately go wherever the wind takes the hot-air balloons.

The Ford Escape is again designated as the official chase crew-vehicle because it is deemed as the perfect SUV to navigate through the rough Pampanga terrain, be it across smooth highways, or through rivers and estuaries, rice fields, rough roads and lahar-covered fields.

“The Ford Escape has always been the epitome of a true SUV and for the modern driver with a non-compromising active lifestyle, the new Ford Escape can, in both form and function, boast of a distinctive sporty design equally matched by the outdoorsy spirit of a true SUV perfectly designed for every kind of journey," said explained Ford Group Philippines VP for Sales and Marketing Steven Tan. "And as always, the Ford Escape very easily differentiates itself by its real-SUV capabilities heralding a ground clearance of 200mm – giving it superior off-road capability to explore off-beaten paths. I truly believe that the Escape is the perfect chase vehicle for the Hot-Air Balloon Festival,” added Tan.

“The 2010 Ford Escape delivers a powerful 2.3L Duratec VVT engine, and features a revised 2,261cc, twin cam, electronic multi-point injection four-cylinder engine that maintains its peak output of 157 PS at 6000 rpm and peak torque of 200 Nm at 4000 rpm. The new engine offers impressive performance and fuel efficiency without compromising drivability and safety standards,” added Tan.

Notwithstanding its power and agility for off-road manoeuvring, the new Ford Escape drives as smooth as a sedan. Packed with Ford Escape’s superior standard features – power accelerator, MacPherson Strut front suspension with stabiliser bar and multi-link rear suspension, the 2010 Escape offers better driver visibility and a more contemporary design that perfectly fits the urban lifestyle.

(Design enhancements)

Without sacrificing beauty with safety, the new Ford Escape has been enhanced with the inclusion of a uni-body structure for maximum protection of the passenger cabin. Front-seat airbags are standard for the driver and front passenger across all variants. Other safety features include Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD).

The 2010 Ford Escape comes in seven exciting colours to fit any kind of adventure: Diamond White, Panther Black, Tonic, Chill, Ocean Blue, Moondust Silver, and Infra Red.

Ford Pampanga is located along Jose Abad Santos Avenue, City of San Fernando with contact number (045) 961-2888 (www.LausAutoGroup.com))