Ford has unveiled the production model of the Escort compact sedan at the Beijing Auto Show, reviving the moniker which was last seen in 2002. Based on the Ford Escort Concept, which was shown at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show, the car was jointly developed by Ford's Australia-based Asia Pacific design team and Ford Research and Engineering Center in Nanjing, China.
Speaking at the car’s launch event, Marin Burela, president of Changan Ford Automobile (CAF) said, “The Ford Escort is a perfect example of how Ford’s global approach can be fine-tuned to meet the needs of individual markets by listening to customer feedback. Taking Ford’s hugely successful C-car platform as a foundation, the all-new Ford Escort puts us in a perfect position to serve Chinese customers looking for an alternative and attainable compact car.”
The Escort is based on the same global platform found in Ford China’s top selling car, the Focus. The Escort will be positioned below the Focus in the Chinese market, with more focus on value than performance. The car has been designed along Ford’s current design language, complete with the huge hexagonal Aston Matrin-esque grille and the familiar headlamps.
Inside, the new Escort is spacious, though the design has been kept simple. The car is equipped with Connect Radio which allows you to link your smartphone to the car's infotainment system via Bluetooth. Safety-wise, the Escort comes with an advanced airbag restraint system and six airbags. The car will be powered by a normally aspirated 1.5-litre Ti-VCT petrol engine, which in the Ford Ecosport churns out 110bhp and 138Nm of torque.
The new Escort is a major step in Ford’s strategy for China, which involves launching 15 cars by 2015. The car will be manufactured in the country by Changan Ford Automobile (CAF), Ford’s joint venture partner. The car had been designed specifically for the Chinese market and Ford currently doesn’t have any plans to sell the car in its other markets. The growing popularity of compact sedans is slowly grabbing the attention of the car manufacturers. For India, Ford recently unveiled the Figo sedan concept at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo, which when launched, will go up against other compact sedans like the Hyundai Xcent, Honda Amaze and the Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire.