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Auto blogSat, 19 Apr 2014 12:02:00 EST
Ford is set to give the burgeoning Chinese market its very own C-segment model, while also reviving one of the brand's more notable nameplates. The new Escort, which will make its world debut at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show will be built in the People's Republic at the Changan Ford joint venture facility.
The Escort's exterior is best thought of as a mix of the finer points from the US market Focus and Fusion, with the Aston Martin-ish grille and narrow, wraparound taillights presenting a clean look at either end of the car. It's all fairly true to the concept car from last year's Shanghai Motor Show. That said, this exterior job is almost too clean. There doesn't seem to be a lot of character or substance beyond the typical Ford looks.
There's a similar issue in the cabin - it all looks pretty nice, but the design is rather plain, particularly when viewed alongside the display-filled cabin of a US-spec car. Still, there looks to be a fair amount of space in both the front and back seats, and the trunk isn't exactly tiny, either.
The Ford Escort concept just unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show was created with the Chinese market in mind, but it's got people talking all over the world. Not purely fancy, the point of the Escort concept was to give Chinese buyers a preview of what they could expect to see in a Ford showroom in the near future. If Ford wasn't seriously considering the new Escort for other countries, a report in Auto Express indicates that the concept's reception has changed all that.
No less than the incoming chairman of Ford UK said "it could work in other places," bolstering the comments of "a senior Ford insider" who said the question of bringing the car to Europe to slot in underneath the Focus had been raised. That's a long way from anything of the kind happening, which would require Ford to figure out how to sell it for the right price and not torpedo the company reputation among Euro buyers. In any case, we'd be as intrigued as anyone if an Escort resurrection created the next 'who knew?' market segment of few-frills transportation offered by non-Asian carmakers.
Evo and host Henry Catchpole were thinking of excuses reasons to borrow the bonkers Ford Fiesta R5 rally car for a day or two, when it struck them: the car is street legal. With access to the R5, some of the world's most beautiful driving roads in the English Lake Country nearby, and a handy video crewing hanging around, the plan seemed to write itself.
Based on the resulting video, it was a good plan. Without spoiling the video for you - something we can't really do in text as the best part is listening to the rally car run - Catchpole finds the Fiesta to be sublimely quick and massively satisfying. Even taking the car for a spin on a pseudo rally stage, after leaving the English countryside, does nothing but add to his assessment of the beastly little Ford. Scroll on below to see for yourself, and enjoy the ride.