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Shanghai show: Ford resurrects Escort name

Escort industry: Ford Australia has contributed to the design of a small-car concept that will potentially be built for the Chinese market .

Chinese small car concept points to reborn Ford Escort with Aussie input

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Ford logo22 Apr 2013

By BARRY PARK

FORD has resurrected the famous Escort nameplate after more than a decade in the wilderness – but it won’t return to Australia.

Instead, the name is pegged to a Focus-based small-car concept unveiled at the Shanghai motor show at the weekend and, if it becomes a production reality, only for the Chinese market.

The car has a strong Australian connection, too, with Ford’s Broadmeadows-based international design team working on some elements of the reborn Escort’s looks.

Ford executive vice-president of global marketing, sales and service, Jim Farley, said the concept “highlights the strength of our global One Ford approach to vehicle design, and represents how we can make use of our global design language to bring refined designs to attainable vehicles”.

The Escort uses a gaping, Aston Martin-style single-frame grille as a focal point, offset by a pair of sharply angled, wedge-shaped headlights that wrap back along the body, offset with the small, show-car wing mirrors that rarely make the jump from concept to production.

A deep bumper below the headlight is broken up using geometrically styled fog-lights sitting on each side of a lower air intake framing the bottom of the grille.

The strakes on the Mondeo-style clamshell bonnet are repeated down the side of the Escort, where old-style integrated flip-up door pulls recess into the door skins.

Down the back, Mondeo-style wrap-around tail-lights dominate a rear end that is notable for its small integrated spoiler built into the boot lid.

Exactly how much of the new design was penned in Australia is mired in controversy, with news reports that Ford’s international operations had “robbed” the local arm of some of its limelight.

GoAuto made several requests to Ford Australia to ask how much input its Broadmeadows design team had contributed to the Escort project.

The only feedback was a brief email response playing down the local car-maker’s input.

“It was a global effort with design input from our Australian design team,” the single line response said.

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