Ford Exec Says Unique Off-Road Escape Coming, Sounds Like The Baby Bronco To Us

The all-new Ford Escape (Kuga in Europe) will gain an off-road-oriented derivative. Just don’t think of it as a jacked-up model with plastic cladding, though, as that’s not the case here.

Ford Executive VP of Product Development and Purchasing, Hau Thai-Tang, told TheDetroitBureau that the Blue Oval is working on an “off-road version of its popular sport-utility vehicle” with a boxier design featuring more upright A pillars and increased ground clearance.

“We want to have really differentiated (with the new model, so the Escape’s) silhouette is very sleek, dynamic – more progressive. The off-road utility will be more upright, boxy”, said Thai-Tang.

Also Read:The Ford Escape Went Soft To Help Make Room For The Baby Bronco

Ford’s “baby” Bronco teaser

Sounds familiar? That’s because, while it was not mentioned in the article, it sounds like he was referring to the vehicle known as the ‘Baby Bronco’, a rugged compact SUV, believed to be based on the same platform as the new Escape.

The Ford official stated that the as-of-yet unnamed SUV will be introduced about six months after the new Escape. Production of the latter will kick off in the coming months at Louisville, in Kentucky, and will arrive at dealers in the beginning of autumn.

Related: Ford Future Product Guide: What’s Coming 2018-2020

Given the common nuts and bolts of both products, it’s probable that the off-road variant will share its engines with the new Escape. The 1.5-liter three-pot EcoBoost, rated at 180 hp, and the 2.0-liter unit that delivers 250 hp are believed to be potential candidates. Later on, hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains could join the lineup.


  • charlotteharry57

    I can’t WAIT to see pricing on the new Escape. Remember, this is the vehicle that Hackett said would sub-in for all the previous Fiesta, Focus and Fusion sedan buyers.

    • brn

      I’m with you, but for the Fusion. Can’t see Fusion buyers going toward the new Escape. Maybe the new Edge, but the pricing doesn’t work out.

      Personally, I’m hoping the Fusion makes a comeback. It’s not dead yet.

  • Loquacious Borborygmus
    I’ve said it before. Hope they have a long term future all figured out.

    • Perry F. Bruns

      Ford 2050 will be all transforming robots, all the time.

    • MarketAndChurch

      We probably won’t be returning to a market favoring sedans for at least the next 4 years.

      • Loquacious Borborygmus

        Yeah but can SUVs maintain their meteoric rise?

        • MarketAndChurch

          I think so. We sold almost a million less sedans last year in the US than the year before, and we’ve seen declines for the past 7 years. Toyota’s US CEO Jim Lentz said that we may be closing in on the bottom of the sedan market decline, but even if we hit the bottom, there isn’t much yet to indicate enough of a recovery to make investment into new sedans worth it (unless you’re the market leader in that segment, like Honda and Toyota). In other words, sedan sales can increase, but most vehicle purchases will still be either trucks or SUV’s, so that is what all manufacturers will focus on.

          While I see SUV’s remaining the preferred vehicle of choice for car buyers, the only thing I could see exciting more people to return to cars in greater numbers would be better handling, better performance, beautiful design, and tesla-esque EV tech. The excitement/fun/gotta-have-it factor has been missing from the sedan market for the past 4 years.

  • hyn sum

    sound like plan to compete with Rav4 Adventure or Cheeroke trail…?


    Nothing new.

  • Paul Webster

    I’m not wild about small/tiny off roaders. Maybe millennials are, or will be.

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