As they did with their electric vehicle division, Ford Motor Group is using the European continent as a testing grounds for new models before releasing improved versions in the US. Ford released the Kuga in 2008 for sale across the continent, and have slowly begun to entertain notions of a North American model for this type of next generation crossover SUV. The most exciting form of entertaining the notion Ford has offered so far would be this years debut of the Ford Vertrek Concept at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.
Many industry insiders believe that this is half concept, and half prototype for the 2013 Ford Escape. When asked as to the differences so far, as far as specs go, between the Vertrek Concept and the current Escape design, Ford had this to say:
“We’ve pulled the A-pillar forward, and made a sleeker roofline, with a sport coupe-like rear roof resembling the current Kuga’s,” says J Mays, Ford’s group vice president for design and chief creative officer. “People actually think we’ve lowered the car, but we haven’t.”
It also looks like Ford may be moving the Escape into the realm of the luxury car. Ford has done this with the UK version of the Kuga by only offering it in luxury models constructed from high quality metals and composites.
“It’s considerably more upscale than the outgoing model, an aspirational, premium item” in its design and list of amenities, Mays says.
Phoenix Valley auto enthusiasts should keep an eye out for what will likely become the new 2013 Ford Escape to be showing up in production form at Phoenix Valley area Ford dealers late next year. The Phoenix Valley area has traditionally been a large market for large cars, which Ford can capitalize on by marketing the Vertrek Concept with a full array of fuel options(hybrid, electric, diesel) at this years Phoenix Arizona International Auto Show, taking place at the Phoenix Arizona Convention center over Thanksgiving weekend.