2014 Beijing Motor Show: 2015 Ford Escort makes a comeback for Chinese market

Article by Christian A., on April 21, 2014

The all-new 2015 Ford Escort was officially revealed at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show a.k.a. Auto China 2014, as the American carmaker decided to revive one of its most famous nameplate. The 2015 Escort has been designed for the Chinese customers this time, as it is part of the company’s plan to introduce 15 new models in China by 2015.

Looking almost identical with the Escort Concept that was unveiled back in 2013 in Shanghai, the 2015 Ford Escort is built on Ford’s C-car platform. The new Escort will join the Ford Focus in order to provide more choices for consumers in China's compact car segment, which is expected to grow to 7.2 million vehicles by 2017, which means bigger than the total auto market in Germany, the U.K. and France combined.

The front end of the vehicle comes with elongated, jeweled headlamps and a stylish inverted trapezoidal grille. From the side, we observe that the designers pushed back the A-pillar in order to create more athletic proportions. At the rear we find taillights that echo the headlamp design. Inside, the 2015 Escort features premium materials, enough room for the rear passengers and design elements “borrowed” from luxury vehicles.

The interior also features the Device Dock, which is an innovative central dock positioned above the vehicle’s center console. According to Ford, the Device Dock introduces a new way to store, mount and charge devices such as mobile phones, MP3 players and satellite navigation systems, as well as integrating them into the in-car entertainment system.

Moreover, the Escort comes with Connect Radio, a smart system that allows the driver to connect a smart phone to the vehicle's radio using Bluetooth. Under the hood, there is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder Ti-VCT engine. The Ti-VCT, or Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing, allows precise, variable control of the "valve overlap," the window of time in which both intake and exhaust valves in an engine are open at the same time.

As the system continuously adjusting this overlap, the engine can maximize the fuel economy and power output.

Interior Design

The Ford Escort has an exterior that shows an elegant harmony which is continued to the sophisticated and roomy interior. Despite a compact platform, the designers made sure to focus on the length of the vehicle. By emphasizing on the flowing and long exterior profile, they were able to create an interior that is able to offer more comfort especially with the legroom in the second-row being increased.

Similar to what was done with the exterior the design of the interior was a result of conducting extensive consultation with consumers in China. Because of this, the cabin is more refined, roomier, and even more inviting.

Attention to detail is also exceptional. The use of premium materials, like perforated leather, is also evident. Thus they manage to exceed what customers generally expect from a compact car. As a way of putting focus on the width of the cabin, the designers positioned the out air vent as far outwards as possible. This allowed for those beautiful visuals and even enabled the instrument panel to have a wraparound, immersive feel.

Ford did reveal though that for the Trend series, the instrument panel will come with a stitch line that goes through the interior's width. This design element is important as it is generally seen only in luxury vehicles. No doubt both drivers and passengers will truly appreciate what the designers did to make sure that the front and rear areas are able to offer comfort.

In the front for example, the seats have been made more pronounced. Meanwhile, the padded bolsters are inviting and supportive while also being comfortable -- important when going over long journeys.

For the rear, passengers are sure to love the comfortable seats that come with headrests integrated to it. The long wheelbase combined with the smart design of the front seat results in exceptional legroom and knee room. When going on long trips, or even when stuck in a traffic jam, the passengers in the rear have access to a 12-volt power outlet that can be used to charge tablets, laptops, and of course, mobile phones.

The driver and the passenger sitting in the front also have a chance to charge their own mobile devices through the 5-volt charger which has a USB port and placed in the instrument panel. When on the road, the new Escort is able to offer a refined and quiet ride even if the windows are opened. When driving at speed, one issue is that when even one window is down, there is that throbbing sound.

To minimize this issue, both designers and engineers looked for a way to optimize how the side mirrors are designed and how they interact with the vehicle's body sides. In order to optimize and then test the body structure of the Escort, the brand made use of cutting-edge computer-aided engineering software. As such, the throb was minimized and the cabin is made quieter.

Press Release

2015 Ford Escort

Bringing new sophistication to the compact car segment, the all-new Ford Escort offers elegant design, exceptional roominess and refined craftsmanship to appeal to discerning modern families in China.

Ford's market research revealed that there is a sub-group of Chinese consumers in the compact car segment who are looking for a sedan that is stylish without appearing arrogant or pretentious, one that fits comfortably into a balanced life with family and friends.

The Ford Asia Pacific design team in Australia worked together with Ford's Research and Engineering Center in Nanjing to meet this market need with the Ford Escort, combining Ford's global capabilities with its knowledge of the Chinese market.

"The Ford Escort offers a premium aesthetic without sacrificing important features like rear-seat space and practicality for everyday use," said Andrew Collinson, exterior design manager, Ford Asia Pacific. "Combining our global strength and local expertise, we've created a compact sedan that defies expectations for this segment with a clean, harmonious and sophisticated design."

Premium exterior, athletic proportions

The Ford Escort's design begins with a distinctive inverted trapezoidal grille set high on the front, reflecting the One Ford global design language. Chrome highlights on the five-bar grille give the Ford Escort a premium appearance, and headlights set apart help to define the vehicle's overall proportions at the front for a greater sense of width.

Details within the vehicle's face reflect the Ford Escort's Chinese market focus and the attention designers paid to even the smallest detail. Elongated jeweled headlamps feature a floating turn signal and LED signature lighting, and chrome graphics within the headlamps are carefully designed to resemble the lucky number eight. In another unique and distinctive touch, chrome highlights around the fog lamp bezels call to mind the letter E on the Escort's rear-mounted nameplate.

Throughout the design process, designers focused on creating a harmonious yet distinctive vehicle based on the traditional three-box sedan style required by Chinese consumers.

Working from Ford's global C-car platform, the design team pulled the A-pillar rearward as far as possible to maximize the dash-to-axle ratio, creating premium, athletic proportions. The sides of the Ford Escort further highlight the vehicle's sleek and balanced look. On high-series models, chrome trim emphasizes the clean beltline and adds a premium feel.

"The design of the Ford Escort features crisp edges with very precise radiuses, very tightly executed," said Collinson. "You see precision edges like these on a high-end watch. It's a simple design, but one with exceptional surface quality."

Contributing to a sense of harmony, an upward kick at the rear of the beltline suggests the shape of the rear window edge where it meets the trunk lid. Harmony is also apparent in the tail lamps, which feature LED signature lighting, and are shaped to echo the headlamps. An elegant line crosses the rear of the Ford Escort, embracing the tail lamps and creating a sculpted shoulder and a wider appearance.

"Details like these bring a complete, harmonious feel to the vehicle because things are not fighting against each other - they're consciously lining up," said Collinson.

Space to stretch out

The elegant harmony of the Ford Escort's exterior extends to a roomy and sophisticated interior. By prioritizing vehicle length on a compact platform, designers were able to both emphasize a long, flowing exterior profile and create a more comfortable interior with increased second-row legroom.

Much as with the exterior, extensive consultation with Chinese consumers informed the design of the Ford Escort's interior. The result is an inviting, roomy and refined cabin with exceptional attention to detail. Premium materials like perforated leather surpass customer expectations for a compact car.

To emphasize the cabin's width, designers pushed the outer air vents as far outwards as possible to create a beautiful aesthetic and help to give the instrument panel an immersive, wraparound feeling. On the Trend series, the instrument panel features a stitch line running the width of the interior, a design element more typically seen in luxury vehicles.

Drivers and passengers alike will appreciate the lengths to which designers went to ensure comfort in both front and rear. In the front, seats with pronounced, padded bolsters are inviting and supportive yet comfortable over long journeys. In the rear, passengers will find comfortable seats with integrated headrests, and excellent knee- and legroom thanks to the vehicle's long wheelbase and smart front-seat design.

For long trips, or when stuck in traffic, rear seat passengers can use a 12-volt power outlet to charge devices such as laptops, tablets and mobile phones. A 5-volt USB charger located in the instrument panel also lets drivers and front-seat passengers charge their mobile devices.

On the road, the Ford Escort has been designed to provide a quiet and refined ride, even with the windows open. To minimize the throbbing sound that occurs when driving at speed with one window down, designers and engineers worked to optimize the design of the vehicle's side mirrors and their interaction with the body sides. They tested and optimized the Ford Escort's body structure using advanced computer-aided engineering software to minimize throb and create a quieter cabin.

"The Ford Escort is a testament to the importance and relevance of smart, elegant design in the compact segment," said Collinson. "In every element - shape, materials, detail and finish - the design illustrates Ford's uncompromising approach to going further for our customers, to meeting and exceeding their needs."

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