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Ford Escort ZX2

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Ford Escort ZX2
Ford
aka ZX2
Production 1998 - 2003
Class Sport compact
Body Style 2-door coupe
Length 175.2 in (4450 mm)
Width 67.4 in (1712 mm)
Height 52.3 in (1328 mm)
Wheelbase 98.4 in (2499 mm)
Weight 2478 lb
Transmission 5-speed G5M manual, FWD
4-speed F-4EAT automatic, FWD
Engine 2.0 litre Zetec DOHC Inline-4
Power 130 hp @ 5750 rpm
127 lb-ft of torque @ 4250 rpm
Similar similar (competition)
Designer Designer (lead designer if it was a team effort)

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MODEL Trims
Zx2 Zx2 S/R
MSRP
$14,000 $Price2
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$Price1 $Price2

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FuelEconomy.gov

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S/R Performance Package

Equipment included in all S/R models:

  • Rear disc brakes
  • Remapped computer
  • Borla axle-back exhaust
  • B&M short-throw shifter
  • Eibach lowering springs with custom-valved Tokico struts
  • Centerforce dual-friction clutch and pressure plate
  • Silver face gauges and 150 mph speedometer
  • Available only with the 5-speed manual transmission

1999: 110 made, only in Zinc Yellow. Equipped with intake by Roush, 7-spoke wheels as found on the later second-generation Escort GT, and a leather/carbon fiber shift knob.

2000: 2000 made, 1000 in yellow, 500 in red, 500 in black. Roush intake replaced by Iceman, wheels changed to the daisies as found on its contemporary Mercury Tracer, shift knob replaced by a leather one without carbon fiber.

From the Ford press release: The increased presence and success of tuner models from overseas in the late 90s caused Ford to create their own performance model, the ZX2 S/R. Meant to compete with cheap factory performance compacts such as the Honda Civic Si or the Dodge Neon ACR, Ford created the ZX2 S/R to show that they had plenty to bring to the table. Its initial debut was at SEMA's Import Auto Salon in Pomona in 1999. The ZX2 S/R was the first product jointly developed by Ford Racing and Ford Motor Company's Small Vehicle Center Product Development.

Ford's final limited production count was 2,110 units, consisting of 110 yellow S/Rs in 1999, the first two of which were sold in Columbus, Ohio, and the other 108 in southern California, and in 2000, 500 black, 500 red and 1,000 yellow S/Rs for an upgrade price of $1,500 both years. It is believed that only 35 of those 2000 S/Rs were sold in Canada, making it a very rare trim there. The ZX2 S/R also led to inspiration in the British sector of Ford and was laterally built in Europe as the Ford Puma, Top Gear's car of the year in 2002.

The optional S/R package adds stiffer suspension parts (Eibach springs (M-5560-Z2), Tokico struts (M-18000-Z2) and Energy Suspension brand polyurethane suspension bushings), more power (through a Ford Racing PCM (M-12650-Z2)), more efficient intake (Roush and Iceman), rear disc brakes (M-2300-Z2), a stronger clutch (Centerforce dual friction (M-7560-Z2), a short-throw B&M manual-transmission shifter (M-7210-Z2), an S/R-unique shift knob (M-7213-Z2) and boot (M-7277-Z2), upgraded seats, a unique blue valve cover, a different speed cluster that goes up to 150 mph (240 km/h) and a unique tire/wheel package. Engine power was increased 10 percent over the base Zetec engine used in the ZX2 to 143 bhp, courtesy of a recommended premium fuel re-calibration, new air inlet system, the performance PCM, improved Borla muffler and pipe (M-5230-Z2). All ZX2 S/R have a special "S/R" badge on the back, either silver (on a red car) or red (on a yellow or black car). Some S/R went out of the assembly plant without some of the performance missing the Centerforce clutch). The suspension bushings were not installed at the factory but instead packaged with the car for installation at the dealership. This also led to many cars leaving the showroom without the full complement of S/R parts

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Generations

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First Generation/Origins (1998–2003)

The Escort ZX2 was launched 1998, one year after the third-generation Escort sedan and wagon. The ZX2 had the Zetec-family 2.0L engine similar to the one found in the larger Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique rather than the SOHC engine in the other Escorts.

Mid-way through the 1999 model year, Ford changed the transmission gearing to provide better fuel economy. Other changes that accompanied the new transmission included a MAF sensor that incorporated a sensor for air temperature and a new style valve cover.

The Escort name was dropped in 2000 when Ford introduced the Focus, the car meant to replace the Escort. While Escort sedans and wagons were no longer sold except to fleets, the Ford ZX2 was still available at dealerships until 2003.

The ZX2 got its first and only facelift in 2003. The front fascia was redesigned, and the wheels were changed to ones that look more like the Focus wheels of the time. The rest of the car remained the same.

Worldwide

The North American version of the Ford Escort is completely different than the European and South American versions. Like the rest of the Escort line, the ZX2 was only sold in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

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