Ford Escort revived as a concept car for China; cheaper, longer than Focus

Ford has revived the Escort name for a new concept car that previews a new larger, but cheaper than, Focus car for China.

Ford isn’t saying or revealing too much about the Escort — it hasn’t issued photos of the car’s interior, specified what’s under the bonnet or quantified its dimensions, except to say that it is longer than the Focus. Strip away the show car LED headlights and add frames to the side windows, and what you have is a plainer, more simply styled — no doubt cheaper to produce — car than the Focus.

Why does Ford want to produce a cheaper car that’s bigger than the Focus? Because it could be a hit in China. Presumably it would also work well in much of the developing world too, especially in Asia and Latin America where sedans are preferred over hatchbacks.

Will it feature a lot of Focus’ tech? We doubt it. Ford isn’t saying as much, but we’d be surprised if the Escort even had Focus’ soft touch fabrics, let alone self parking, MyFord Touch and all the other doodads that we take for granted nowadays. According to Ford the Focus is for those who want “a fun driving experience and high level of technology”, while the Escort is for those who’d like “exceptional roominess, uncompromised functionality and sophisticated design”.

Sounds pretty much like where the old Escort left off then. Yep, pretty much. Except for the whole sophisticated design thing.

Are we likely to see the Escort in Australia? Maybe when the Gold Coast Suns are crowned AFL champions. Seriously, though, we doubt it. This is a cost-down car for China and, probably, the developing world. That said, we are going to see the EcoSport in Australia soon.

Is there any sort of Aussie connection here? Yes. According to The Australian, the Escort was largely designed in Australia, because Ford doesn’t have a full service design studio in China or the rest of Asia.

How much will it cost? Nothing specific yet, but it will be less than 111,900 RMB (A$17,600) that the current Focus goes for in China. It might even be less 99,980 RMB (A$15,700) that the previous generation Focus is being sold for in China.

Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]