We honestly didn't expect this.
The all-new 2020 Ford Escape, in the eyes of many, is more car-like than its immediate predecessor. With its smoother lines and generally more wagon-like exterior styling, it was clear Ford sees a good chunk of Escape buyers as those who have no interest in an off-road SUV. The most off-roading they do is driving over the occasional curb while fighting over a parking spot at Costco. The upcoming Baby Bronco will instead appeal to a somewhat more adventurous crowd.
But in a recent Automobile Magazine interview, the lead designer of the new Escape, Andrew Bazinski, reveals quite an interesting design inspiration. Quite honestly, it’s one we’d never would have expected. Bazinski happens to be a bike guy. Not a cyclist, but a motorcyclist, and his brand of choice is BMW. He owns a 1992 R100R and a 1980 R100.
Both inspired the Escape’s new look. "When I bought these bikes, they’re all full of fairings, and they’re over-body, and what I’m working on now is, like, tearing one down to a naked bike, its bare essentials and really having a pure, clean, streamlined look, so that’s what influenced, kind of, the new Escape. It’s having that pure shape and the streamlined look. That’s the connection here,” he said. Interestingly, Bazinski still doesn’t view the new Escape as a pure crossover, but rather a small SUV.
"It’s lower and wider [compared with the outgoing Escape]. If you look at that silhouette, it’s really quite swept back.” In case some are wondering, the 2020 Escape does have some new Focus inspiration as well, specifically in the bodywork "and how everything kind of flows.”
Of course, the latest Focus, which lends its platform to both the Escape and Baby Bronco, will no longer be sold in the US, so it’s the new Escape’s job to help fill that void of disappointed Focus shoppers. But hey, at least they’ll all now be able to say with complete confidence their Escape has BMW motorcycle design inspiration.