How Many Ping-Pong Balls Does the 2013 Ford Escape Hold?

It’s pretty easy for a car shopper to research the interior volume of a new vehicle.  For the automaker, however, determining those measurements isn’t quite as easy. Many areas of a car are cramped and/or irregular shaped, making it difficult to accurately determine their size.  This is why Ford n the all-new 2013 Ford Escape, Ford took a different approach to measuring the interior dimensions using Ping-Pong balls.

On previous Ford models, the automaker has measured the space the traditional way – with measuring tape and calculations.  However, engineers were dissatisfied with the accuracy this method provided, as curves made it difficult to be precise.  During a brainstorming session one day, one Ford engineer suggested using ping-pong balls instead.  According to Ford vehicle architecture supervisor Eric Jackson, “Ping-pong balls are more accurate than using a tape measure to get the volume of odd-shaped spaces like a glove compartment. [We] did some studies using ping-pong balls and found capacities were more consistently measured.”

The engineers developed a cubic measurement of one ping-pong ball, which takes the space between each ball when piled together into consideration.  This calculation, along with the number of balls that fit into a space, is used to measure the volume.  In the end, about 56,778 ping-pong balls fit into the Escape, giving the new crossover 68.1 cubic-feet of cargo volume with the seats folded down.

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