Monday, April 21, 2014
Ford Revives Escort for Chinese Market
Before the Focus, the Philippines had the Lynx; but for the rest of the world, Ford’s compact sedan was the Escort. And now, the nameplate’s being revived but for the Chinese market (for now). Shown at Auto China in its final production form, the Escort is a compact sedan based off Ford’s global c-segment platform.
Designed to bridge the gap between the Fiesta and Focus, the Escort is an example of how Ford can fine tune its product strategy to particular markets. With the Chinese market being a more conservative three-box (sedan) market, Ford used a clean sheet design for the Escort. Upfront, it has the familiar Ford corporate face with the signature (Aston Martin) grille. The headlights are unique because they have been designed to incorporate ‘8’—a lucky number in China—into the chrome graphic. The rear part kicks up to create a wider looking backend. The lighting elements are in LEDs.
Inside, the Escort follows the same conservative theme with a cabin that emphasizes room rather than high-tech features. With the advent of portable electronic devices in markets such as China though, Ford has incorporated a 5-volt USB charger aside from the typical 12-volt power outlet. The Escort also has Device Dock—a new way to store, mount, and charge devices that integrates them seamlessly into the in-car entertainment system. Given Chinese motorists like to drive while smoking (or with their windows down), Ford has worked hard to reduce high-speed throbbing by optimizing the design of the side mirrors and its interaction with the body sides.
The Ford Escort is powered by a 1.5-liter Ti-VCT 4-cylinder engine shared with the Fiesta and EcoSport.