Is China Heaven for Cars? Well, the Ford Escort Lives On There, So Maybe…
The Escort was once a fun compact car that even had its place in the rally world. But, like all good things, the Escort eventually had to come to an end. It was even discontinued in Europe years ago as well. In 2014, Ford quietly introduced the name to the Chinese market, and it’s apparently been very well received. So much so, in fact, that Ford just ushered in a new-gen model built around the brands new global midsize car platform. Could the Escort come back to the States and Europe someday?
Whoa, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Until gas prices spike and SUVs lose popularity, we’re never going to see the Escort this side of the Asian market again. In fact, Ford just announced it’s downsizing to just two passenger cars in its whole U.S. Lineup. But, if it makes you feel better, the new Escort in China comes with an eight-inch touchscreen display, an attractive instrument cluster, and there’s even a little bit of fastback and Focus DNA in there as well.
It is offered with a 1.0-liter or 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine, but power figures have been kept secret for now. I wouldn’t expect to see it deliver over 130 horsepower in its most potent form – after all; it’s for the Chinese market. Either way, if you’re going to be in China and you miss the Escort of the old days (God I miss my hatchback), you could move to China and procure yourself a 1.5-liter model with a manual transmission.
Yesterday, we talked about Ford’s EcoBoost technology in their Start Concept. Now at the Beijing Auto Show, Ford has announced that they will also include their EcoBoost Technology in Europe’s Ford Mondeo. The Mondeo will receive the 2.0L I4 EcoBoost engine mated with the new Ford Powershift six speed automatic transmission. This single turbocharger with a direct fuel injection delivery system delivers torque comparable to a V6 engine while fuel economy is boosted by 10%.
“Customers have embraced EcoBoost technology because of its ability to deliver power and performance with uncompromised fuel economy,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president for global product development. “We’re committed to bringing this technology to multiple vehicles so that more customers can take advantage of the no-compromise Ford EcoBoost combination of power, performance and fuel economy. Ford EcoBoost works in any gasoline engine, so adding a 4-cylinder engine to complement our V6 line-up was a logical development.”
Along with that announcement, Ford also announced that the 2.0L I4 EcoBoost will be the first EcoBoost engine to go global with the 1.6L and the 4 cylinder following shortly thereafter. They have already revealed the Europen lineup featuring the 2.0L engine: Ford S-Max, Galaxy, and Mondeo will start off the transition. The Ford Edge will receive the engine later this year while Australia’sFord Falcon will inherit the 4 cylinder engine in 2011.
This announcement comes as no surprise to us. We figured Ford would be running full steam ahead with this technology that cuts CO2 emissions by 15% compared to larger displacement engines with similar power. Cutting CO2 emissions seems to be an important trend and we are sure Ford will be taking advantage of that as any other automaker would.
Press release after the jump.
Ford unveiled the Start Concept today at the Beijing International Auto Show. This marks Ford’s first concept car in over three years and its simple design addresses the growing problems we have with fuel efficiency, traffic congestion, and parking space. "Our ambition with the Ford Start Concept was to design a car that goes beyond the practical realities of commuting in these mega cities, to go beyond just dressing the technology. We wanted to design a car you would also love," explained Freeman Thomas, Design Director, Ford Motor Company.
The Start Concept is powered by a 1.0-liter Ford EcoBoost engine that delivers the same amount of power and torque as a normally-aspirated I-4 powerplant. This engine is coupled with a six-speed manual transmission which permits gear spacing to deliver performance without sacrificing fuel economy.
The concepts gets a smooth exterior shell constructed with lightweight composite body panels that snap-fit on an aluminum structure. "With the Ford Start Concept, we didn’t set out to design some sort of utilitarian concept to save the world, nor were we interested in following the competitive trend toward an overly noisy design language. What we did set out to do was design a personality driven car that exudes warmth, charm and aspiration…to design a car worth bonding with," said J Mays, Group Vice President Design and Chief Creative Officer, Ford Motor Company.
This concept reminds us of a little beetle big, although not of the Volkswagen variety. Simply put, the car can be described as cute which may lead to a hard sell for the more masculine portion of our urban community. It’s not ideal for passengers either. Sorry kids, mommy has to save on gas. All kidding aside, we do think this is a great combination of fuel efficiency and simplistic design. We also see how this attractive car could appeal to the masses. Ford may be on to something and the possibility of this concept’s engine transferring over to Ford’s smaller vehicles like the Fiesta and the Focus, is something we can see happening. We have to wonder what this will do to the likes of Chevrolet. Do we see a slightly modified Chevy Cruze or Eco in our future?
Ford will unveil the five-door version of its small car Fiesta at the Beijing Auto SHhow. Designed and developed in Europe for sale in Europe, Asia, South Africa, Australia and the Americas between 2008 and 2010, the all-new Fiesta is the first major product of Ford’s new global product development process.
The all-new Ford Fiesta’s dynamic character is accentuated by its bold kinetic design. Its distinct character is further accentuated with major strides in craftsmanship, quality of materials and product choice while continuing to represent Ford Fiesta’s traditional strengths of practicality, value for money, agility and safety.
All- new Ford Fiesta clearly embodies the exterior hallmarks of kineticdesign, which has so convincingly infused emotion into the core of the Ford range in Europe and Asia.
The reveal in Europe in March of the three-door and five-door Fiesta hatch and now the China reveal of the five-door Fiesta hatch confirm that all-new Ford Fiesta will bring the most appealing elements of Verve Concept to production reality.
Ford S-MAX owners appreciate the safety and convenience of three rows of seating for seven passengers. However, for some potential Ford S-MAX customers, seven seats is two too many.
Today, Ford releases details of the five-seat S-MAX Trend that joins the S-MAX model range for 2008. Ford will debut the new five-seat S-MAX Trend at Auto China 2008 in Beijing alongside the seven-seat S-MAX Flagship.
“The S-MAX is spacious, safe and convenient but not everyone needs seven seats. Introducing a five-seat variant to the S-MAX range makes perfect sense and illustrates Ford’s ability to provide Chinese customers with cars and features they want," said Nigel Harris, General Manager of Changan Ford Sales Company.