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The New Ford Escape Opens Its Mouth Wider In China

Crossover / 7 Comments

New compact crossover debuts in Shanghai with a different face.

It's called the Escape in America and the Kuga in Europe, but wherever it'll be sold, Ford's new compact crossover looks essentially the same – except in China.

Hot on the heels of its global reveal last week, the American automaker has revealed the new fourth-generation Escape in Shanghai for the local market. And as you can see, it's wearing a different face, with a much larger grille, filled with mesh, framed in chrome, and incorporating the Blue Oval emblem that sits above it on the North American and European versions we've seen already.

"After considerable research, we found that Chinese consumers favor 'subtle and dynamic' aesthetics," said Ford's global design chief Moray Callum. "They prefer designs that are understated yet powerful."

We're not sure about the "subtle" or "understated" parts, but the new Escape doesn't look half bad with the type of bigger maw that's been dominating automotive design over the past several years. Grille shape aside, though, it's otherwise ostensibly the same vehicle being rolled out in other markets around the world. It joins Ford's Chinese lineup alongside the smaller EcoSport, the larger Explorer, the mid-size Territory (different from the Australian one), and the truck-based Everest.

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"Ford is deeply committed to China, and with our new China leadership team and vision, we're investing in the future – a future that starts today," said Ford's global CEO Jim Hackett. "By injecting even more Chinese DNA and know-how into the business, and combining it with Ford's global technology and resources, we will be able to respond faster to market changes and develop more efficient market strategies," added local chief Anning Chen. "We are confident that with this business transformation, we will grow in our understanding of Chinese consumers, enabling us to launch more competitive vehicles and services at 'China speed'."