New sedan gets new looks, new engines, and more tech

The Chinese-market Ford Escort has received a comprehensive update for 2018, likely in line with the all-new Focus also revealed overnight.

Upgrades include a revised exterior, which appears to draw inspiration from the new Focus range, a new 1.5-litre 'Ti-VCT' petrol engine, and additional luxury and technology features compared to the current model.

New HID headlights reside at the front end, incorporating C-shaped LED daytime-running lights and a chrome outer bezel. The five-bar chrome grille has also been revised for the upgraded model.

At the rear, there's new LED tail-lights (though we don't have any images of them, yet) with integrated reverse lights, while the rear fog-lights are separated into the rear fascia to give "a sense of symmetry and balance".

Inside, there's a new instrument cluster, high-gloss finishes and satin aluminium accents for an improved cabin ambience.

Electronic stability control is now standard across the range, along with side curtain airbags and tyre pressure monitoring – the Chinese market's safety standards aren't as strict as ours, in case you were wondering.

Rounding out the upgrades are the availability of power-adjustable front seats with memory, power-folding exterior mirrors with memory, an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, rear-view camera, automatic headlights and wipers, along with keyless entry and push-button start.

Ford says over 800,000 examples of the Escort have been sold since its launch in December 2014, with the pre-facelift model having been designed in Australia.

"We are delighted that our Chinese customers have embraced the Escort and made it such a huge success," said He Chaobing, executive vice president of Changan Ford Automobile Company.

"The new Escort underlines our commitment to continue listening to our valued customers in China and evolve to meet their expectations."

It appears the new Escort will be sold alongside the current Focus hatchback, until production of the all-new model commences later this year.