Ford recently took the wraps off the 2020 Escape and it’s more car-like than ever before.
This isn’t a coincidence as Ford’s global design director, Joel Piaskowski, told Car & Driver this was done on purpose. While you’re probably thinking it has something to do with consumer trends and preferences, Piaskowski suggested there were two primary considerations behind the move.
First and foremost, Ford wanted to reposition the Escape and make it more appealing to sedan and hatchback owners. This isn’t too surprising as the company is gutting its car lineup to focus on more profitable trucks and crossovers.
The ‘softer’ Escape also leaves room for Ford introduce the so-called Baby Bronco. Piaskowski didn’t go into a lot of details, but he confirmed the upcoming model will be about the same size as the Escape. This isn’t too surprising as both vehicles are expected to ride on the same platform.
Given the commonality between the two models, it’s likely they will share powertrains. This means we can expect a 1.5-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder that produces 180 hp (134 kW / 182 PS) and 177 lb-ft (240 Nm) of torque. There should also be a more powerful 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder with 250 hp (186 kW / 253 PS) and 275 lb-ft (372 Nm) of torque.
Ford has already confirmed they’re going “all-in on hybrids,” so the Baby Bronco will likely be offered with the hybridized 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces an estimated 198 hp (148 kW / 201 PS). It remains unclear if the plug-in hybrid powertrain will carryover, but that seems unlikely as it is only available with front-wheel drive.
While the platform and engines may carryover, the Baby Bronco will have a unique attitude and a boxy design. Previous photos have shown the crossover will also have circular headlights and a contrasting roof. We can also expect a more off-road focused suspension and meatier tires.
Ford hasn’t said when the Baby Bronco will be launched, but previous reports have indicated the model will arrive in mid-2020.