Ford’s New Escape

Posted: December 17, 2010 in Ford
Tags: , , ,

The Ford Kuga, as sold in Europe.

The next generation Ford Escape is turning into a Ford Kuga.  It will come to the US in the 3rd or 4th quarter of 2011 as a 2012 model. The Kuga is built on Ford’s new generation global C1 platform that underpins the new Focus as well as the upcoming Grand C-Max (think Mazda5) small minivan.

The Grand C-Max is coming to the US late in 2011 as a 2012 model. It can haul up to 7 people; but I think that you have to be a small child to fit in the third row seats.

Ford is still mulling over the name for the Kuga/Escape. There is a good deal of brand equity in the Escape name, but given the radical change from a truck-look to a crossover look, Ford may want a fresh start with the Kuga name. Then again, Ford likes to keep the names uniform – at least in the US.

For a long time now, SUVs and crossovers have to have names starting with an “E” while passenger cars are supposed to have a name starting with an “F.”

SUVs and CUVs:

  • Escape
  • Edge
  • Explorer
  • Expedition

Cars:

  • Fiesta
  • Focus
  • Fusion
  • Mustang (hey, they are never going to change this one)
  • Flex (it could be considered a crossover or SUV, but with an “F” name, Ford must consider it a car)
  • Taurus (again, a name with much brand equity. When Ford ditched the Taurus nameplate in favor of the “Five Hundred” nameplate, the car dropped like a rock.)

The outgoing Escape is riding on a small car platform – I think it’s the same one used for the current Focus. Ford really is bringing world-class cars to the US market. Finally.

The 2011 Ford Escape is getting a little tired, but I still think it has a decent small truck look.

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Comments
  1. Tom says:

    Why not Ford Falcon?

    • Todd Bianco says:

      Tom, I like Falcon and as you know, it’s still used by Ford Australia. However, if the Kuga/Escape is supposed to be an SUV, I think Ford would want to keep the “E” nomenclature.

      How about a Falcon rear drive sedan above the Fusion and perhaps at the same level as the Taurus? Ford should be able to adapt one of the Aussie rear drive platforms for the Mustang (hopefully with an IRS) and another halo Ford or even a Lincoln flagship.

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