Ford Escort Concept

The Ford Escort name has returned with this new mid-size China-only Shanghai concept car

This is the Ford Escort Concept, which heralds the return of Ford’s most recognisable badge.

Seeking a decent dose of European kudos for its new, mid-size car, Ford of China decided to resurrect the Escort name for its Shanghai Motor Show concept.

The Escort previews a new mid-sized saloon that will slot into Ford’s Chinese range alongside the Focus, but above the previous-generation Focus sold in China as the Focus Classic.

While the current Focus is designed to offer a decent driving experience and plenty of tech – and is currently the best-selling car in China – the new Escort is intended to offer more space, particularly for buyers who prefer to be chauffeured, rather than drive themselves.

Although designed for the Chinese market, the Escort bears familiar hallmarks of Ford’s current global form language established by the Evos concept of 2011.

However, concessions to the Chinese market include jewelled headlights that are designed to resemble a figure of eight, which is considered lucky in China.

The big question though is whether the new Escort could ever be sold in the UK. “It’s a concept that certainly has global potential,” Craig Von Essen, communications director for Ford Asia Pacific told us. “But don’t get your hopes up, it’s been designed with China in mind. Small saloons are a much smaller market in the UK, so gaining a per cent here or there in sales isn’t really a big deal.”

The Escort will go on sale in China in 2015, and forms part of Ford’s plan to add 15 new models to its Chinese line-up by 2015.

In addition Ford plans to have five factories fully operational by that year, allowing the firm to build over a millions cars per year in China alone.

Production of the original Escort began in the UK in 1967, with the first cars hitting the road the following year. After becoming a near-permanent fixture in the top 10 best-selling cars in the UK for most of its life, the Escort finally bowed out in 2000, with over five million Escorts built in Halewood, Merseyside, and many more constructed at Ford’s plant in Cologne, Germany.

In contrast, the mid-size car segment accounts for around a quarter of all Chinese car sales, which represents a volume of around 5.5-million units per year, or around the same as total car sales in Germany and the UK combined.

Recommended

Ford Bronco being considered for Europe, says Ford boss
ford bronco
Ford

Ford Bronco being considered for Europe, says Ford boss

Ford CEO Jim Farley has hinted that the new Bronco SUV could be on its way to Europe
20 Sep 2021
High-performance Hennessey VelociRaptor Ford Bronco revealed with 405bhp
Hennessey Bronco
Ford

High-performance Hennessey VelociRaptor Ford Bronco revealed with 405bhp

New Hennessey VelociRaptor 400 Bronco unveiled with more power and off-road upgrades
19 Jul 2021
New Ford Mustang Mach-E GT: prices and release date announced
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Ford

New Ford Mustang Mach-E GT: prices and release date announced

The fastest iteration of the Ford Mustang Mach-E offers 480bhp and costs from £67,225
9 Jul 2021
Best 60s cars: the 30 greatest cars of the 1960s
Best cars of the 60s - header
Best cars & vans

Best 60s cars: the 30 greatest cars of the 1960s

The swinging sixties brought a vast array of unforgettable cars that would establish the path of the industry for decades to come. We pick our top 30 …
21 Jun 2021

Most Popular

Genesis G80 vs Mercedes E-Class vs Lexus ES
Genesis G80 vs Mercedes E-Class vs Lexus ES
Genesis G80

Genesis G80 vs Mercedes E-Class vs Lexus ES

The Genesis G80 looks to make an impact in the executive saloon class as we pitch it against the Mercedes E-Class and Lexus ES
18 Sep 2021
'The death of cheap cars will be a travesty for personal mobility'
Opinion cheap cars
Opinion

'The death of cheap cars will be a travesty for personal mobility'

Our appetite for small, cheap cars is as strong as ever - although Mike Rutherford warns they may no longer be profitable
12 Sep 2021
What is Skoda vRS? History and best cars driven
Skoda vRS range
Skoda

What is Skoda vRS? History and best cars driven

To mark 20 years of Skoda’s vRS badge, we rounded up some of the performance cars from the past two decades that have worn the subtle green badge
17 Sep 2021