|Also called||Ford Escort ZX2|
1998–2000 (Canada & Mexico)
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Small family car
|Body style||2-door coupe|
|Platform||Mazda B platform|
|Engine||2.0 L Zetec DOHC I4|
|Transmission||5-speed G5M manual
4-speed F-4EAT automatic
|Wheelbase||98.4 in (2,500 mm)|
|Length||175.2 in (4,450 mm)|
|Width||67.4 in (1,710 mm)|
|Height||52.3 in (1,330 mm)|
|Curb weight||2,478 lb (1,124 kg)|
Escort ZX2 (1998-2003)
A sporty version of the Escort returned to the public in the Spring of 1997 as a 1998 model, a coupe called the ZX2. The name is believed to be derived from "Z" for Zetec engine, "X" for Generation X which the car was marketed to and "2" for 2 door coupe. Ford gave the ZX2 a flashy body style and a 2.0-liter 16-valve "Zetec" engine which pumped out 130 horsepower and would move the ZX2 from 0 to 60 mph in around 7.4 seconds.
In 2001, Ford dropped the "Escort" name from the 2-door which would then be referred to as the ZX2 from that point on. The final year of production was in 2003. That year the ZX2 received a new front fascia, one year only 15 inch 5-spoke wheels and, finally, an in-dash CD player on deluxe and premium version. It also came stock with a moonroof. Due to low sales and low demand, Ford dropped this vehicle from its lineup.
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 inexpensive factory performance compacts such as the Honda Civic Si or the Dodge Neon ACR, Ford created the ZX2 S/R to show that company 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 finalers 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 $1,495 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 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 or 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), unique seats for 2000 models, a unique blue valve cover for 2000 models, a different speed cluster that goes up to 150 mph (240 km/h) and a unique tire/wheel package with Goodyear ZR1 tires. Engine power was increased 10% over the base Zetec engine used in the ZX2 to 143 bhp (107 kW; 145 PS), 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 mods(example: missing the Centerforce clutch).
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