Yet another variation of the new Ford Escape/Kuga has been revealed this week, in the form of the Chinese-market model.
Debuting at an event in Shanghai this week, dubbed 'Ford China 2.0', the all-new Escape forms part of more than 30 Ford and Lincoln models that are scheduled to launch in the region over the next three years.
Compared to the North American Escape and the Euro-market Kuga, China's version gets a unique front end design, which the company says reflects "the aesthetic preferences and particular needs of young urban Chinese".
Top: Ford Escape (China), Middle: Ford Escape (North America), Bottom: Ford Kuga (Europe)
"The all-new Ford Escape Titanium offers a unique front face tailor-made for Chinese consumers, demonstrating Ford’s ambitions in accelerating the launch of more products with customer-centric design in China," Ford said in its press release.
Up front is a 'Nebula Shield' grille that blends into the headlights, featuring a hexagonal mesh insert with chrome and black finish. You'll also notice the Ford badge is placed in the centre of the grille, rather than positioned above it on the nose.
Speaking at the event, Ford's vice president for global design, Moray Callum, said: "After considerable research, we found that Chinese consumers favor ‘subtle and dynamic’ aesthetics – they prefer designs that are understated yet powerful".
It appears the new Escape will be sold alongside the previous-generation model in China, which is currently badged 'Kuga', also joining the market-specific Territory in the company's line-up in the region.
Ford says the trio of crossovers will help it to "fully cover China's midsize SUV market".
Other debuts at the Shanghai event include the presentation of Ford's new Sync+ infotainment system, a new AI-based operating system that works with a number of Chinese tech firms, like Alibaba, Baidu, China Unicom, Iqiyi and Microsoft.
Ford says it will also rollout C-V2X technology from 2021, which the company claims will improve road safety and traffic efficiency, along with promoting the development of autonomous driving. China will be the first market where the Blue Oval will apply this technology.
Other new models planned from the Blue Oval and its Lincoln luxury subsidiary include an all-electric version of the new Territory co-developed with local firm Jiangling Motors, which will be the company's first EV in China when it launches later this year.
The new Lincoln Aviator will arrive in Chinese showrooms later this year, too, including the plug-in hybrid variant, while a third all-new Lincoln SUV will commence production in China "by year end", joining the aforementioned Aviator and smaller Nautilus.
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