Ford Revives Escort Name with New Concept Sedan in Shanghai [w/Video]


Ford really wanted an image change when it began phasing out the Escort, and replacing it with the Focus, a move that first happened in Europe in 1998 and the following year in North America. Once the striking Focus was revealed, people all-but forgot about the Escort, and aside from the hot Cosworth version, they don’t really arise that much interest today…
The name was not planned to be dropped forever, though, and now the Blue Oval has unveiled its new Escort concept, reviving the name to tap into China’s compact car segment, which last year accounted for 25 percent of all vehicle sales in the country (5.5 million). Ford currently only sells the Focus in the segment in China, but even in sedan form, it betrays its hatchback roots, with the telltale rising shoulder line which you see on similar models.
The Escort concept was clearly conceived as a sedan, and looking at the car, one is immediately struck by the trademark grille, LED headlights and tasteful but not understated paint finish. The car looks as if it was chiseled out of a solid block of metal, and none of the elements are out of place – it is quite clean. However, at the back, there’s more than a passing resemblance to the new Mazda6.
This is merely a wild theory, but perhaps this will be Ford’s "Skoda Octavia", based on hatchback underpinnings, but made larger in order to compete with sedans from the class above, like the aforementioned Mazda6, while undercutting all of these cars when it comes to price. The Octavia is a hit in many markets around the world, and Ford has all the ingredients to make its own and will use them.
I mean, doesn’t “the Ford Escort Concept represents the idea that you can get a compact vehicle with a premium aesthetic without sacrificing key features like space for families or having to pay a premium price tag,” which is a statement made by Martin Smith, executive design director, Ford Europe and Asia Pacific, at least validate (not confirm) the above?
Also, in keeping with FoMoCo’s One Ford philosophy, if this car enters production and proves successful, and if the above theory is accurate, then there’s no reason for them to keep this a China-exclusive models, especially since the name is already very familiar to many, an aspect which will surely help.
By Andrei Nedelea




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